Antique Art Nouveau English Silver Easel Back Photo Frame with Hiawatha & Motto (Code 2032)
A wonderful and rare antique Art Nouveau period photo frame in Chester hallmarked English silver on a wooden backing. It is of repousse form and features Hiawatha with a motto below and scenic details formed from the silver. The detail is in high relief and Hiawatha's arm cuts through the frame aperture as a nice extra touch. The aperture is approx 3 7/8" by 5 1/2", and as you can see it is of easel back design.
There is a registered design number (428521) which dates to 1905, and it is also entitled 'Hiawatha' below the foot of the figure. The motto reads 'Feed the fire of friendship and the winds will fan the flame. There is a hallmark, the date letter is rubbed, but the Chester mark is legible as is the Sterling control mark and the makers mark. This appears to be for Colen Hewer of Cheshire who was known to be producing frames at that time.
Interestingly a pair of near identical frames was sold at Christie's in London (2015) for £3500, the registered design number matches, but the makers mark was declared for Charles Green of Birmingham, 1904. The Christie's frames had some cut outs around the tarpaulin edges near the base, where as this example has them as solid silver. It is possible Colen Hewer acquired the tooling to produce them, or both silversmiths commissioned work from another maker to add to their range.
A fine looking example with lovely motto, and great presence.
Some polishing wear to the silver with detail softened from this. The date letter from the hallmark rubbed. There appear to be very few knocks and the only holes spotted are where the pins fix the silver to the wood.
Height: 27.5 cm ( 10 3/4 inch)
Width: 19 cm ( 7 1/2 inch)
Weight: 454 grams (before packing).
Stock Code: 2032 FB20-1
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