Coffee Pot thumbnail 1
Coffee Pot thumbnail 2
Not currently on display at the V&A

Coffee Pot

ca. 1900 (made)
Artist/Maker
Place Of Origin

William Arthur Smith Benson (1858-1924) was born in London and educated at Winchester and Oxford. Benson was first articled to the office of Basil Champneys until 1880. Through his friendship with the Pre-Raphaelite artist, Edward Burne-Jones, he met William Morris, whom he had long admired and was inspired to set up a workshop for the manufacture of metalwork in 1880. He later opened a well equipped factory in Hammersmith and in about 1887, a shop in Bond Street. His firm survived until he retired in 1920. Benson’s firm produced some simple furniture but his great output consisted in well designed utilitarian metalwork, usually in copper and brass but sometimes in electroplate, including lamps, teapots and food warmers. Benson had always been interested in engineering and, unlike so many of his Arts & Crafts contemporaries, had little compunction about the use of the machine.

Benson was an active member of the Art Workers' Guild from 1884, a leader in the formation of the Arts and Crafts Exhibition Society from 1886 and wrote an essay on metalwork in the catalogue of the first exhibition in 1888. On Morris’s death in 1896 Benson became chairman of Morris & Co. for whom he designed furniture and wallpapers. In 1914, he was a founder member of the Design and Industries Association.


object details
Categories
Object Type
Materials and Techniques
Copper, spun, cast, soldered and riveted.
Brief Description
Coffee pot, spun and cast copper, London, ca.1900, designed and made by W.A.S. Benson
Physical Description
Coffee pot of copper, the body of spun copper sections rests on a stepped, moulded foot, the flared body withg a plain moulded collar and a domed shoulder, the junction concealed by a plain moulded ridge. The squat spout of cast copper and with a plain moulding round the base is attached to the shoulder, a cast scroll handle is attached to the body by three bolts. The detachable lid, now missing.
Dimensions
  • Height: 14.7cm
  • Width: 20.5cm
  • Diameter: 14cm
Style
Credit line
Given by Mrs M. Amerye Cooper
Subject depicted
Summary
William Arthur Smith Benson (1858-1924) was born in London and educated at Winchester and Oxford. Benson was first articled to the office of Basil Champneys until 1880. Through his friendship with the Pre-Raphaelite artist, Edward Burne-Jones, he met William Morris, whom he had long admired and was inspired to set up a workshop for the manufacture of metalwork in 1880. He later opened a well equipped factory in Hammersmith and in about 1887, a shop in Bond Street. His firm survived until he retired in 1920. Benson’s firm produced some simple furniture but his great output consisted in well designed utilitarian metalwork, usually in copper and brass but sometimes in electroplate, including lamps, teapots and food warmers. Benson had always been interested in engineering and, unlike so many of his Arts & Crafts contemporaries, had little compunction about the use of the machine.



Benson was an active member of the Art Workers' Guild from 1884, a leader in the formation of the Arts and Crafts Exhibition Society from 1886 and wrote an essay on metalwork in the catalogue of the first exhibition in 1888. On Morris’s death in 1896 Benson became chairman of Morris & Co. for whom he designed furniture and wallpapers. In 1914, he was a founder member of the Design and Industries Association.
Collection
Accession Number
CIRC.195-1953

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record createdFebruary 16, 2004
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