£500 - £700
AN IRISH ARTS & CRAFTS REPOUSSE BRASS FENDER, FIVEMILETOWN ART METALWORK CLASS, DESIGNED BY JOHN WILLIAMS, C1900 26cm h, 37 x 127cm
The Fivemiletown Art Metalwork Class was established in 1892 by Mary Montgomery at Fivemiletown, County Tyrone. The design sources would originally be the Home Arts & Industries Association and Mary Montomery's husband Hugh de Fellenberg Montgomery and work was exhibited at the Home Arts & Industries Association Exhibition at the Albert Hall, London in 1893. The range of metalwork shown won high praise. It was here that it came to the attention of John Williams, one of the earliest members of Ashby's Guild of Handicraft and an experienced repouss� metalworker. According to Larmour* some of the most distinctive pieces of Fivemiletown work feature pairs of peacocks. A fender very similar to the present example was shown in the 1899 exhibition and caused a contemporary critic to observe "There is an expression of mystery and blending in the design, and a making much of the ornamental parts of the peacocks, which is excellent; concentration of interests in breadth of effect in the design being fully achieved."
*Larmour (Paul), The Arts & Crafts Movement in Ireland, Belfast 1992, pp 39-44 (the fender referred to illustrated at the foot of page 41).
Fine original condition, no damage or repair