William Banbury an Arts and Crafts Opal Necklace
Lot 361
William Banbury an Arts and Crafts Opal Necklace
£4,000 - 5,000
US$ 6,700 - 8,400
Auction Details
William Banbury an Arts and Crafts Opal Necklace
Lot Details
William Banbury
an Arts and Crafts Opal Necklace
the central oval panel collet set with an opal within ropetwist and bead mount, flanked by wire-scrolls, leaf-sprays and bead clusters, with pear-shaped opal drop within a ropetwist and bead collet, suspended from a fancy-link chain of figure-of-eight and belcher wire links with bead highlights, set at intervals with opal collets in various ropetwist, wire and bead mounts, suspending two smaller opal and leaf-spray drops, the fancy ring and toggle clasp set with an opal
pendant drop 8cm long, chain 41cm long, signed to the reverse 'W. Banbury Fecit Pro. Mrs J. T. Ewen'


  • Provenance: A private commission for Mr and Mrs John Taylor Ewen, passing to their niece, Jean Taylor Cable, thence by family descent.

    Exhibited: Aberdeen Artist's Society. Sixteenth Exhibition of Works of Modern Masters, 1919

    William Banbury R.B.S. is primarily recognised as a sculptor. Born in 1871, he gained membership of the Royal Society of British Sculptors in 1911, and was appointed Professor of Sculpture at Gray's School of Art in Aberdeen. Minutes of the Governors reveal that by 1915 he was also teaching Design and Craft at the School.

    A prominent and successful couple, John Taylor Ewen and his wife Isabella (nee Ross) were passionate patrons of the Arts in and around Aberdeen. Their niece, Jean Taylor Cable, on whom they doted, studied Design and Craft at Gray's School of Art, graduating in 1915 with a scholarship for a further year's study.

    By family repute, the gold for this necklace was reworked out of wedding bands from the Ewen and Ross families, and the opals were bought by Mr and Mrs Ewen in Australia during their extensive travels abroad.

    During the period that Jean Taylor Cable was a student at Gray's School of Art in Aberdeen there would have been a small and tightly knit community of craftsmen working in the Arts and Crafts tradition. While William Banbury taught Design and Craft, fellow resident of the city and Arts and Crafts jeweller James Cromar Watt (who by this time was concentrating on working in precious metal) performed a role as an Assessor for the course, as well as being a member of the Arts and Crafts Committee which oversaw Gray's.

    Catalogues of the Aberdeen Society of Artists, and local press cuttings from the period 1908-1919 show that Banbury exhibited jewels and metalware at their exhibitions on at least four occasions, and that James Cromar Watt, John Paul Cooper, and Nelson Dawson were among those exhibiting alongside him.

Saleroom notices

  • This lot has been withdrawn.
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