GERALD BENNEY: A silver-gilt and enamelled box, London 1970, impressed GERALD BENNEY LONDON,

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Lot 165
GERALD BENNEY: A silver-gilt and enamelled box,
London 1970, impressed GERALD BENNEY LONDON,

Sold for £ 5,760 (US$ 7,450) inc. premium
GERALD BENNEY: A silver-gilt and enamelled box,
London 1970, impressed GERALD BENNEY LONDON,
rectangular form, the hinged cover with two brown translucent panels over a textured ground flanking a central panel, with three rows of five white enamelled discs set within a translucent off white enamelled ground, the silver-gilt sides and underneath of the box with bark effect textured decoration, reverse of inside cover with a rayed textured panel within a polished silver-gilt border, length 19.3cm, weight 38oz.

Footnotes

  • Gerald Benney CBE RDI (1930-2008)

    Gerald Benney was one of the most outstanding goldsmiths of the 20th century. With works being continuously produced for over fifty years, from private commissions to mass production. Born in Hull, Yorkshire in 1930, he trained at Brighton Art College 1946-1948 as a silversmith under Dunstan Pruden. After two years military service he went to the Royal College of Art under Professor Robert Goodden. Benney found his first workshop at Suffolk House Whitfield Place off the Tottenham Court Road in London during his last term at RCA. It was at the RCA that Benney met David Mellor and Robert Welch, between them they were to revolutionise post war silver design.

    Early in his career Benney discovered, by accident, the distinctive surface texturing of silver that was to become his signature. He inadvertently used a hammer with a damaged head while producing a cup and liked the effect. This surface texturing soon became known as "Benney Bark Finish". The finish was widely imitated and dominated contemporary silver design for almost two decades. Its success was, not only, for its new contemporary look but, also, for the practical reasons that it almost eliminated tarnish and fingerprints.

    In 1963, Benney moved to Beenham House near Reading. It was here that he decided to develop the use of enamels. Starting in 1968 he revived the almost-lost art of enamelling, he went on to be one of the world's foremost modern enamellers. In 1969, he moved his London studio to Falcon Wharf, Bankside and by 1973 was at warehouses in Bear Lane, Southwark. Between 1957 – 69 he was a consultant designer for Viners and in 1971 he was given the award Royal Designer for Industry. He was Professor of Silversmithing and Jewellery at the Royal College of Art from 1974 to 1983.

    In 1993, together with his son Simon, he opened a shop in London and a year later he was awarded a CBE. Benney received many commissions from the Royal Family and was the first craftsman to hold four Royal Warrants simultaneously, with Royal Warrants from HM The Queen, Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother, the Duke of Edinburgh and the Prince of Wales.
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