Japanese silver bowl with import marks for Cornelius Brabrook Pare, Birmingham, 1878, sold for £800 at Roseberys.

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The small 4¾in (12cm) 6oz silver bowl pictured here, which came up for sale at Roseberys (26/25/20% buyer’s premium) on March 20, is an actual piece of Japanese silver with mixed metal animal appliqués and bears import marks for Cornelius Brabrook Pare, Birmingham, 1878.

Dresser made a trip to Japan in 1876-77 partly to promote Japanese art and design and to gather two collections of material of ‘reliable tutorial value’.

One was for London-based importer of Japanese wares Londos & Co, and the other for Tiffany & Co of New York. Charles and Louis Tiffany commissioned Dresser to bring back some 8000 objects from which their own craftsmen could take inspiration and obtain technical knowledge.

Dresser is known to have worked as an adviser to Londos. This firm was a partnership between Cornelius Brabrook Pare (whose sponsor’s mark is on this bowl), Peter Charles and John Reynolds. The hallmarks on this bowl suggest that it was one of the items brought back for Londos.

Based on the design of a Tiffany chocolate pot made in New York in 1879 featuring similar applied mixed metal animals, it seems reasonable to conclude that a similar bowl may have been included in the collection that Dresser amassed for Tiffany.

Roseberys’ bowl had retained elements of gilding to the exterior and interior and raised areas visible to the interior suggest some applied motifs may have been removed. It sold on low estimate at £800.

Overlapping leaves


British silver bowl with marks for the Birmingham firm of Hukin and Heath, 1902, which took £1900 at Kinghams.

Also pictured is a 26oz British silver bowl fashioned as a series of overlapping leaves or petals measuring 9in (23.5cm) diameter which featured in Kinghams(25/18/15% buyer’s premium) silver auction two days later on March 22 where it realised £1900.

This has marks for the Birmingham firm of Hukin and Heath, 1902, for which Dresser created a number of designs from the 1870s onwards.

The auction house had attributed the design to Dresser, who was responsible for the selection of Oriental items for the firm to copy. Given its similar Japoniste Aesthetic style and design to Roseberys’ piece, it seems likely it may have been inspired by a similar model to that Japanese bowl.