Pair of Brass & Wrought Iron Sconce by Ernest GimsonBy Ernest Gimson, read more.
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About this piece
Blacksmithing probably by Alfred Bucknall
Sapperton, Gloucestershire, circa 1910
The backplate pierced and worked in low relief with flowers and foliage, with two polished iron arms with tight scroll terminals, the shallow domed drip pan and sconce with serrated edge. Unsigned.
The privately printed 'Ernest Gimson, His Life & Work' (1924) illustrates a number of Gimson's drawings for piercing and chasework. Plates 40 to 45 (image 2) are all illustrations and photographs of remarkably similar designs for both fire-dogs and sconces; none match the offered diamond-shaped backplate. Within the notes on these plates we learn quite what a hands-on designer-maker he was:
- "(that) none of the balcksmiths had had, before he engaged them, any special training for the highly skilled work required in much that was produced. Frequent technical difficulties had to be overcome, as well as the determining of the right finish for each piece. A great deal of his time was consequently spent in the shops, which he visited almost every day."
A comparable pair of sconces were sold at Bonhams and catalogued as being a posthumous manufacture to a Gimson design by HW Keil on his departure from Gordon Russell's workshops. Furthermore, there are a number of Gordon Russell designs that can be seen to sit in the same sphere of influence as our offered pair. Design 135, dated June 1924, by Russell is for a round backed '2 Light Wall Sconce and Design 379, of the following year, is for a hexagonal backed "Pinetree" sconce. The working of these, is more directly modeled from Russell's drawings, capable but with less of the artists hand at work as seen in the offered earlier Bucknall made examples.
H 29.5cm x W 45cm
H 11¾" x W 17¾"
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