Margaret Lilian Simpson (British, born 1872) A Silvered Metal Book Mount, design circa 1894

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Lot 18
Margaret Lilian Simpson (British, born 1872)
A Silvered Metal Book Mount, design circa 1894

Sold for £ 1,275 (US$ 1,637) inc. premium
Margaret Lilian Simpson (British, born 1872)
A Silvered Metal Book Mount, design circa 1894
mounted in contemporary wood frame

'The idea embodied in the design is that of the growth of life (represented by the flowering and fruit) watched over by Spirits (shown in the eight right angles), whilst Love (the central figure) kisses the buds into bloom, and, as shown on the clasp, binds together the pages of the Book of Life'
frame 64.5cm x 44.5cm, book mount 49cm extended, marked 'ART UNION OF LONDON 1ST JANUARY 1886'

Footnotes

  • Provenance:

    By descent to the present owner, Private Collection U.K

    Margaret Lilian Simpson was a student of the National School of Arts, South Kensington, under the tutelage of Edward Lanteri. The design for this book cover won her a gold medal in the National Art Competition of 1894 and a travelling studentship to Italy. Returning a second time for further study with Miss Florence Steele, gold medallist of that year, she sadly died of typhoid on 21st December 1896, aged just 26. Only a small number of these book covers are known to exist, there is said to be a version held at the British Library, another in the collection of Duke University, North Carolina and a further example exhibited at the Royal Academy in 1896.

    A very similar book cover was offered through Toovey Auctioneers, Lot 4100, 22nd March 2019, and another in Bonhams Knowle, Decorative Arts including Arts and Crafts Jewellery, Gordon Russell and Cotswold School Furniture, lot 117, 2 May 2008.

    Reference:

    "The Victorian Web" - the idea embodied in the design is that of the "growth of life" represented by the flowering and fruit, watched over by spirits, presented to the eight corners, whilst the central figure of "Love" kisses the buds into bloom.

    See Simplicity and Splendour - Arts and Crafts Living: Objects from the Cheltenham Collections, Edited by Annette Carruthers and Mary Greensted, Cheltenham Art Gallery and Museum in association with Lund Humphries Publishers, 1999, p. 144, cat. 83.
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