For sale is this exceptional arts and crafts brooch. The large rectangular silver brooch is centred with a delicate flower enamel with blue background. Each corner is set with a circular split (or blister) pearl with a further river pearl drop. The silver is highlighted with gold wirework. The back of the brooch has a flower design in silver. The piece is in excellent original condition.
The maker/designer of the brooch has not been identified. Elements of the design are quite Guild of Handicraft but I believe this to be an early piece by Edward Spencer for the Artificers Guild in the pre 1909 Montague Fordham era, dating this brooch to c 1905. There is a similar design in the Goldsmiths Library archive and the flower design to the back of the brooch has been found on Horace Minns jewellery who is known to have worked for the Artificers Guild from at least c 1910 (and quite possibly earlier).
The Artificers Guild was originally established by Nelson Dawson along similar lines to Charles Ashbee’s Guild of Handicrafts but quickly changed ownership, from 1902 being owned by Montague Fordham alongside it’s chief designer became Edward Spencer. Spencer took over the Guild and incorporated it as a limited company in 1909.