W.A.S Benson & John Walsh Walsh | Arts & Crafts Desk Lamp | England c.1900
A good quality arts and crafts table lamp by W.A.S Benson with a vaseline-glass lampshade by John Walsh Walsh England c.1905
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.
Stourbridge Glass, Birmingham
Thomas Webb & Sons, Henry G. Richardson & Sons, Stevens & Williams, John Walsh Walsh
The industry was established at the beginning of the 17th century by glass-makers from Lorraine in north-eastern France
The industry grew and evolved for the next 275 years and glass from Wordsley, Amblecote and Brierley Hill is recognised as amongst the finest in the world
Birmingham Lighting designers such as Best & Lloyd, Faraday & Sons, Osler & Co, James Hinks & Son and Messenger & Sons employ the Stourbridge factories to produce the glass-ware for their lights.
Mostly it is impossible to say which firm produced a particular lampshade but some patterns were registered/catalogued and can therefore occasionally be attributed.