W.A.S Benson with James Powell & Sons | Arts & Crafts Desk Lamp | England c.1900
An adjustable wrought-iron & brass table lamp by William Arthur Smith Benson complimented with an attractive blue-opalescent lampshade attributed to James Powell & Sons. Designer’s impressed mark to finial “W.A.S Benson”. England c.1900.
For further provenance see Ian Hamerton (ed.) “W.A.S Benson” P.259,Pl.15 No.1173
Ht.(as desk lamp)29cm/11.5in, Ht(as side-light)38/15
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.