Artificers Guild copper and silver biscuit barrel
A copper and silver tea caddy or biscuit barrel attributed to the Artificers Guild, circa 1910. The body and lid of the biscuit barrel are both hand planished with ornate silver banding around the edges of the lid. The finial on the lid is mounted with a silver scorpio motif and silver wirework detailing. There is also an inscribed pattern in the copper around the finial and the silver banding of the lid. The inside of the biscuit barrel has been tinned or silver plated.
A similar design, signed by Edward Spencer, can be found in the Artificers Guild archive held at Goldsmiths Hall. It is likely that this piece was made for a special commission as it is unmarked and personalised by the inclusion of the scorpio astrological sign. The design of the silver scorpio was likely by John Houghton Bonnor who was a known designer for the Guild. He designed a series of zodiac signs which are commonly seen on spoons by the Guild. The image shown is from a hand drawn sketch by Bonnor.
The condition of the biscuit barrel is quite incredible. The patina, likely original, is near perfect and I’m pretty sure this piece looks exactly like it did when it left the Guild’s workshop all those year ago.
Dimensions: 5 1/4″ in diameter at widest point by 6 1/2″ high