Art Nouveau is a style of decorative arts, most popular between 1890 and 1910. Art Nouveau embraces vibrant and swirling designs. The leading producer at the height of popularity of Art Nouveau was WMF of Germany. Art Nouveau is known as Jugendstil in Germany. Art Nouveau was also popular in France with silver from Schweitzer and Fort and some outstanding pieces of jewellery.
Jugendstil relief-moulded pewter dish by WMF, Germany. model 232 c.1906
Engraved silver box by Schweitzer and Fort.
Charles Horner was based in Halifax until his death in 1896. Charles Horner designs included enamelled brooches, pendants and hatpins. His two sons developed the business and even opened a new factory in 1905.
silver amethyst brooch.
sold for £125
Charles Horner set of six silver buttons. 1.9cm dia. Chester 1904
silver and enamel bat pendant. Chester 1909
The London department store Liberty & Co built relationships with leading designers in the 1890s. It was a major retailer of Art Nouveau products. Arthur Liberty made sure he promoted the name of ‘Liberty’ and not the names of his designers. In 1899 Archibald Knox started designing for Liberty. He had previously worked for Christopher Dresser. ‘Cymric’ was the silver range and ‘Tudric’ was the pewter range.
Knox stopped working for Liberty in 1912.
Pair of Archibald Knox candlesticks . Liberty Tudric 0221 c.1903
Archibald Knox Tudric pewter milk jug, Liberty 0303
Archibald Knox Liberty Cymric silver spoons 1904 & 1905
Designer David Veasey (who sometimes signed his pieces ‘Tramp’) was there at the start of the Tudric range, having won a design competition. Veasey designed beautiful clocks and pewter and glass items.In 1901, Liberty took a 60% share in the Birmingham metalworking firm of W H Haseler, run by William Hair Haseler. Many Liberty Cymric pieces bear the WHH hallmark. From 1903, W. H. Haseler took over the manufacture of Liberty’s Tudric range.
David Veasey pewter clock Liberty Tudric 0385, c.1905
Liberty & Co silver pendant necklace
by William Hair Haseler
Liberty silver belt buckle
attributed to Oliver Baker
Not all Tudric designs can be assigned to a well-known designer. Makers like Charles Peyton, who had helped develop Liberty’s Cymric range, continued to produce their own designs.
Liberty & Co Tudric pewter inkwell, design 0141
Of course, Liberty had no monopoly of Art Nouveau silver and pewter products. Provincial silversmiths, including William Neale, Joseph Gloster, T. H. Hazlewood and Oliver Baker were active and successful.
Art Nouveau silver box
by T.H.Hazlewood & Co.
10cm across. Birmingham 1901
Charles Payton silver and enamel brooch of a stylised butterfly. 1908
Matched pair of silver photograph frames by William Neale,
30.5cm high. Chester 1902
by Joseph Gloster.
29.5cm high. Birmingham 1908