Liverpool Artwork of the Day – Thursday January 11 2007.
Teapot, milk jug, sugar basin, sugar tongs, ladle and four small dishes, silver-gilt, made by William Smith of Liverpool, hallmarked at Chester, 1870-71
In The Walker Art Gallery – Craft & Design gallery.
Just a bit too ornate for my taste and its probably not dishwasher-friendly but you have to admire the craftsmanship and it caught my eye when I visited the craft and design gallery on the ground floor of the Walker recently.
I was actually revisiting this section to look at the recent additions which include the Vivienne Westwood outfit which is the Walkers own artwork of the month this month.
William Smith came from Middlesex and worked in Liverpool as a jeweller, gilder and electroplater from about the 1860s. He had premises firstly in Cable Street then Rainford Gardens.
This tea set is the earliest known work by Smith. Only four other pieces by him are recorded. The set is composed of a teapot, milk jug, sugar bowl, ladle, tongs and four sweetmeat dishes. The service is composed of overlapping vine leaves with entwined stems and tendrils. It is one of the more extreme forms of High Victorian naturalism in silver.