Details & Cataloguing

The Fine Art Society: 142 Years on New Bond Street


Charles Sydney Spooner (for John Brandt)
reverse of cabinet and interior of one drawer each impressed J. BRANDT
coromandel, satinwood and ebony veneeered cedar, cedar, ivory, brass
155 by 95 by 43.5cm.; 61 by 37 3/8 by 17 1/8 in.
Executed in 1910.
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London, The New Gallery, The Arts and Crafts Society's Exhibition, 1910
London, St. Martin's College, Making Their Mark, September-November, 2000
London, The Fine Art Society, The Best Shop in London Part II, 2001, no.116


Arts & Crafts Exhibition Society Catalogue of the Ninth Exhibition, The New Gallery, Regent Street, London, 1910, p. 112, cat. no. 328 describes the present lot
The Studio: An Illustrated Magazine of Fine and Applied Art
, vol. 49, London, 1910, n.p., illustrated
Adrian J. Tilbrook and Fischer Fine Art Limited, Truth, Beauty and Design: Victorian, Edwardian and Later Decorative Art, exh. cat., Fischer Fine Art Limited, London, 1986, p. 82, illustrated, p. 83, fig. 197 for a related example
John Andrews, Arts and Crafts Furniture, Suffolk, 2005, p. 216 for a related example

Catalogue Note

The present lot is a rare and striking design of exceptional quality by one of the early founders of the British Arts and Crafts movement. Spooner was secretary of the Wood Handicrafts Society, based in Hammersmith where his own workshop, Elmdon & Co. was also located. The Arts and Crafts Exhibition Society and New Gallery, founded 1887 and 1888 respectively, were critical outlets for the Arts and Crafts movement, gathering vociferous support from both William Morris and Edward Burne-Jones. The present lot was included in the Arts and Crafts Exhibition Society’s final exhibition at the New Gallery in 1910, priced at £52,10s. The gallery closed permanently shortly thereafter.

Spooner was also a teacher of 'Design for Cabinetmakers, Metal Workers' for the Guild of Handicraft from 1899 until the late 1920s. Founded in 1896 and located at the Central School of Arts and Crafts, the aim of the school was to 'to encourage the industrial application of decorative design.' Alumni of the school included Edward Barnsley, who was under the tutelage of Spooner from 1922-1923.

Ralph Edwards, Keeper of the Furniture and Woodwork Department at the Victoria and Albert Museum, London had been Spooner’s friend and described him as ‘a learned ecclesiologist and man of fine taste, and closely identified with the Early Crafts Movement’.

The Fine Art Society: 142 Years on New Bond Street