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  • Place of origin:

    Birmingham (made)

  • Date:

    1883 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Spall, Thomas, born 1853 (designer and maker)
    Elkington & Co. (manufacturer)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Embossed silver

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    British Galleries, Room 125c, case 4

Object Type
This panel was purchased from the International Health Exhibition in 1884 for £50. It is likely that it was intended to be displayed as an example of fine embossing or repoussé work (silver hammered from the back to give a raised decorative effect) to inspire art workers or students visiting the Museum.

Thomas Spall, who made this panel was born in Dublin in 1853 and studied at the Birmingham School of Art before training with the local, but internationally important manufacturers, Elkington & Co. His work was praised for its 'feeling and finish' and admired for the excellence of the craftsmanship.

At the time the panel was acquired, the subject of two angels singing from a book, was stated to be 'after an original by Donatello'. More recent research has indicated that the panel which it copies is more likely to have been the work of an assistant in Donatello's studio.

Physical description

Panel, silver, oblong recessed, repoussé in high relief with the standing figures of two young girls, singing. A reduction after the original by Donatello.

Place of Origin

Birmingham (made)


1883 (made)


Spall, Thomas, born 1853 (designer and maker)
Elkington & Co. (manufacturer)

Materials and Techniques

Embossed silver

Marks and inscriptions

Signed: 'Thos. Spall. Fecit 1883'


Height: 30.5 cm, Width: 11.4 cm, Depth: 1.8 cm

Object history note

Designed by Thomas Spall (born in Dublin, 1853) and made by him at Elkington & Co., Birmingham.

Descriptive line

Silver, Birmingham, 1883, made by Elkington & Co., designed and executed by Thomas Spall.

Labels and date

British Galleries:
Thomas Spall studied at the government-sponsored Birmingham School of Art before starting his training with Elkington & Co. in Birmingham. He became one of Elkington's best known 'repoussé' craftsmen. The high-relief embossed figures are in the manner of Florentine Renaissance work. [27/03/2003]





Subjects depicted





Metalwork Collection

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