Lot 2100 - 07 Nov 2017
Autumn Fine Auction
THE INTERNATIONAL EXHIBITION, 1862
A VICTORIAN SILVER-GILT, ENAMEL AND GLASS THREE-PIECE TABLE GARNITURE
By Elkington & Co, Birmingham, 1862, Designed by W. Albert Willms
Comprising: the principal stand and a pair of smaller stands, each piece of Graeco-Pompeian style with swept triform central openwork design, raised on a circular base, with three paw feet, the openwork tops raised on vase shaped supports, the principal stand, Birmingham 1862, maker's mark Elkington & Co, height 40.5cm, the pair of smaller stands each with an applied oval plaque to the underside, detailed 'Published by Elkington & Co 645', Birmingham 1861, maker's mark Elkington & Co, height 19.5cm, the principal stand with a later applied panel to the bottom, combined gross weight 4660 gms, with three later faceted glass dishes, (3). Illustrated
J. B. Waring, Masterpieces of Industrial Art and sculpture at the International Exhibition 1862, vol. 3, pl. 211.
The Graeco-Pompeian service was created for the 1862 International Exhibition in London. Composing of thireteen pieces and designed by W. Albert Willms (d. 1899), who was awarded a medal of artistic merit for it (Elkington was specifically excluded from a medal award as members of the firm formed part of the jury). The Juries report specifically referred to the dessert service, noting 'the effect is very beautiful ' and 'in excellent taste'.
Willms trained as a modeller and engraver at Klagman, Dieterle and Constant in Paris. Although mainly a sculptor, Klagmann also commanded high prices for his silver designs. It was to one of Klagmann's clients, the French emigre silversmiths Morel & Co, newly established in London, that Willms moved to at the onset of the 1848 Paris revolution. He worked along Morel in his preparations for the Great Exhibition in 1851. Following this he returned to Paris, collaborating with Christophle, Paillard and Froment-Meurice at the 1855 Exhibition.
Elkington hired Willms to create a service for the Duke of Brabant and from 1857 he was head of their design studio.
The principal stand showing loss of gilding particularly to the base, the fixing screw has broken at the base of one of the three supports (see images), small patches of enamel loss and discolouration. All glass bowls fit good and tight.
Both smaller stands having minor enamel loss and wear to gilding, all parts generally good overall, some remnants of silver polish amongst decoration.