Sunday, December 27, 2015

Irish Silversmiths - Benjamin Tait (1784-1791)

Benjamin Tait was based in Dublin. He produced quite a large amount of silversmith in his relatively short career. He worked from around 1784 to 1791. His workshop was near Bride Street, in the inner city of of Dublin.
His most common makers marks have a serrated edge and are clearly recognisable.
Example of Benjamin Tait's maker mark
He made a number of different pieces, but appears to have specialised in flatware. Below are four examples of his bright-cut pattern sugar tongs. His tongs are often much smaller than other Irish examples, the first three displayed measure between 13.5-14.5cm. The fourth pair are of a more common Irish size and measure just under 17cm.

Bright-cut Sugar Tongs with rounded shell bowls by Tait
Bright-cut Sugar Tongs with concave design
Bright-cut Sugar Tongs with flower pattern
Large pair of Sugar Tongs by Tait, in a much more typically Irish size and style

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Australian Silversmiths - Frederick Bassé of Adelaide.

A lovely two-handled cup by Bassé
(Source: Bonhams Australia)
Not one of the big names of Adelaide silversmithing, I think Frederick Bassé is underrated! His larger pieces show an elegant simplicity. Both a Jeweller and a Silversmith, Bassé produced pieces from the early 1880s until his death in 1913. His firm continued under his widow, trading as F. Bassé and Co until around 1923.

An example of Bassé's hallmarks

A plain but heavy silver box by Bassé