W.A.S Benson with James Powell & Sons | 2 Arts & Crafts Desk Lamps | England c.1900


A pair of adjustable wrought-iron & brass table lamps by William Arthur Smith Benson but apparently unsigned. The bases rare in design because they include the added origianl brass switches (not in use for decoration only) and now each complimented with an exceptional English straw-vaseline lampshade. England c.1900.

Provenance see Ian Hamerton (ed.) “W.A.S Benson” P.259,Pl.15 No.1173 model but without switch.

Ht.(max/straight up)36cm/14in, W.(base)15/6, Dpth.(base)19/7.5

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.


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