The Great Exhibition of 1851 was the catalyst that fueled the Arts and Crafts Movement. The exhibits were described as badly made with excessive ornamentation. The Arts and Crafts Movement reaction to the disappointing exhibits was to encourage high quality 'crafts' of craftsmen and artisans. This movement was noted for simplified natural motifs. In many parts of Europe devotees of this movement had strong negative feelings about the use of machinery in the creation of accessories, furniture and works of art. Craftsmen should work with their hands and be free to express their creativity. These craftsmen would return to using primitive tools to produce high quality simplified pieces which often had the appearance of a pre-industrial age. Today Arts and Crafts pieces are highly collectible. There was no extravagant decoration and they are very beautiful.
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This is an Arts & Crafts cigarette case made c. the late 1800s. The case is fully hallmarked 800 silver. This composition of 800 silver lends itself to the creation of dark patina which is particularly pleasing on pieces of this genre. This patina can only improve with age and what a beautiful example this antique silver case is. On the lid and base three Centaurea in bloom with a bud on the lower right hand side. The simplicity and balance of the design so charming which is why this movement has such a following. Push the thumb catch to activate a spring loaded catch. The gilded interior showing the repoussage in reverse. The original gold elastic strap still in place. All clasps and hinges work perfectly. So often Arts & Crafts pieces have the appearance of primitive / medieval items and this is certainly so with this antique silver case. The case is in very good condition.
Measures 9 cm X 7.5 cm and weighs 68. grams.
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