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Coffee pot
  • Coffee pot
    Benson, William Arthur Smith, born 1854 - died 1924
  • Enlarge image

Coffee pot

  • Place of origin:

    London (made)

  • Date:

    ca. 1910 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Benson, William Arthur Smith, born 1854 - died 1924 (designer and maker)
    W. A. S. Benson & Co. Ltd. (maker)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Electroplated silver on copper, machine-spun; handle covered with cane

  • Credit Line:

    Gift of Mrs. M. Amerye Cooper

  • Museum number:

    CIRC.192-1953

  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

William Arthur Smith Benson was born in London in 1858 and educated at Winchester and Oxford. He was first articled to the office of Basil Champneys. In 1880 he set up a workshop for the manufacture of metalwork. He was inspired in this by William Morris, whom he had long admired. Later he opened a well-equipped factory in Hammersmith, and about 1887 a shop in Bond Street. The firm survived until he retired in 1920. Benson was an active member of the Art Worker’s Guild from 1884 and a leader in the formation of the Arts and Crafts Exhibition Society from 1886. On Morris’s death in 1896, he became chairman of Morris & Co. and designed furniture and wallpapers for them. He was a founder member of the Design and Industries Association in 1914. He died in 1924.

Benson’s firm produced some simple furniture, but his main output consisted of well-designed utilitarian metalwork. This was usually in copper and brass but sometimes in electroplate. It included lamps, teapots and food warmers. Benson had always been interested in engineering. Unlike so many of his Arts & Crafts contemporaries, he had little compunction about the use of the machine.

Physical description

The body rests on a circular base with a plain foot and swells outwards towards the top, capped by a sloping circular rim. The "V" shaped spout emerges from the rim. The conical lid is surmounted by an urn shaped wooden finial and is attached by a hinge to the "C" shaped handle at the rear. The handle is secured to the body by screw bolts and is wrapped with cane strip.

Place of Origin

London (made)

Date

ca. 1910 (made)

Artist/maker

Benson, William Arthur Smith, born 1854 - died 1924 (designer and maker)
W. A. S. Benson & Co. Ltd. (maker)

Materials and Techniques

Electroplated silver on copper, machine-spun; handle covered with cane

Dimensions

Length: 19.05 cm, Height: 18.1 cm, Width: 12.4 cm

Descriptive line

Coffee pot, electroplate, London, ca. 1910, designed and made by W.A.S. Benson

Bibliographic References (Citation, Note/Abstract, NAL no)

Victorian and Edwardian Decorative Arts, London, HMSO, 1952

Materials

Copper; Silver; Cane; Wood

Techniques

Spinning; Electroplating

Categories

Metalwork; Tea, Coffee & Chocolate wares; Drinking

Production Type

Mass produced

Collection

Metalwork Collection

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