Gerald Benney Works for Bonhams Silver Auction

Pieces by the most influential British gold and silversmith of the last century, Gerald Benney, are for sale in the Silver Auction (including post-war silver) at Bonhams Knightsbridge on 25 May.

It follows the highly successful sale of Benney’s work last December which made more than £150,000. The star lot in May’s sale is a silver-gilt and enamelled teapot, from 1991, estimated at between £4,000-6,000. This is the only known example to have appeared at auction. The teapot features Benney’s distinctive ‘Bark Finish’ – the surface texturing of silver which became his signature and influenced contemporary silver design for almost two decades. He discovered this by accident when he mistakenly used a hammer with a damaged head and liked the effect it produced.

Other pieces in the sale include a silver and gold box (£3,000-4,000); eight silver and enamelled beakers, (£3,500-5,000); a pair of silver and enamelled egg cups, (£3,000-5,000); a set of four silver and enamelled goblets, (£3,500-5,000) and a rare silver and gem set centrepiece (£8,000- 10,000).

Bonhams Head of Silver at Knightsbridge, Ellis Finch, commented, “It’s impossible to overestimate the contribution of Gerald Benney to British and European silverware. He singlehandedly revived the dying art of enamelling during the 1960s, taking it to even greater heights than the legendary Russian enamellers, Fabergé With David Mellor and Robert Welch he revolutionised post war silver design.”

www.bonhams.com/silver

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