W.A.S Benson | Art Nouveau Brass Multi-Utility Lamp | England c.1905
A good quality arts and crafts multi-utility brass lamp for desk or wall with adjustable mechanism, signed W.A.S Benson, with vaseline-glass lampshade possibly by James Powell & Sons, Whitefriars. England c.1905.
Ref. Michael Whiteway: “W.A.S. Benson Metalwork” 1981 Exhibition Booklet p.17 for an identical example.(see photos)
Ht.42cm/16.5in, Ht(extended) 57/22.5
William Arthur Smith Benson, London
- William Arthur Smith Benson was an Arts and Crafts designer who campaigned with the National Exhibition of the Arts for “Crafts” to be exhibited as an art form which lead to the formation of the Arts and Crafts movement of the time.
- He originally studied Classics and Philosophy at Oxford but after finishing decided that he would be more suited to architecture, combining art and engineering, two of his interests.
- Benson began making metalwork and went on to set up his own workshop where he created and sold new designs specialising in the area of lighting.
- By 1900 Benson had reached his zenith both in England and on the continent. In Paris Benson’s light’s were displayed in Siegfrield Bing’s gallery “Maison L’art Nouveau”.
- Benson often, but not exclusively, used James Powell & Sons of Whitefriars to supply the glass lampshades for his fittings.
- Today Benson is considered to be the premier British arts and crafts lighting manufacturer of the period with his pieces being most sought after.