W.A.S Benson, London | Brass Arts & Crafts Desk lamp | England C.1900
A W.A.S. Benson cast-brass multi-adjustable table lamp with original vaseline glass lampshade. Signed “BENSON”. England, c.1900.
Provenance also see: “W.A.S Benson” ed. Ian Hammerton, P.259, Pl.15, No.1139
Ht.(as desk lamp)30cm/12in, Ht.(extended)40/16
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.