English , active c. 1890-1910
Wm. Hutton & Sons, manufacturer (Sheffield, England)
Candle lamp, 1900–1901
H. 15 x D. 4 1/2 (at base) in.
In the United Kingdom, silverwork was one of the few crafts at the turn of the century to embrace the Art Nouveau idiom. It did so reluctantly, however, largely avoiding the exuberant floral and abstract curvilinear interpretation prevalent on the Continent. Most silver production--both in form and in design--either remained traditional or showed other late Victorian influences, such as those of the Aesthetic Movement, Japonisme or the rigorously handcrafted style of the Arts & Crafts guilds.
The work of Kate Harris is an exception. Overshadowed perhaps by many of her male contemporaries, she was second to none in originality. Her designs were featured in the 1900 Paris Exposition Universelle and, as with this unique candle lamp made by Wm. Hutton & Sons, her metalwork is consistently stylish, possessing a strength of character and design found wanting in so many other British designs of this period. In this sweeping asymmetric form, the tendril mechanism is designed to keep the candle at a constant level so it doesn't overheat the glass shade.