Things that Are Not Lalique: Charles Robert Ashbee. Ashbee was a contemporary and colleague of the great William Morris, and worked with him within the Arts and Crafts Movement. Like basically everyone within the movement Ashbee gave just about every form of handicraft a bash, from jewelry design to architecture and furniture making.
He is also regarded as most likely being homosexual, and a member of the Order of Chaeronea, a secret society that aimed to provide spiritual and emotional uplifting to gay men at a time when it was still illegal. He did marry and had children, though his wife was aware of his orientation from the start.
This lovely piece lacks the serpentine nature of Lalique’s work, aiming for a more accessible form of enamel. The careful framework of the feathers and the cabochon setting of the gemstones evoked the Medieval feel so beloved of the Arts and Crafts movement.
Marsh Bird Brooch. Charles Robert Ashbee ( 1863-1942 ) Circa 1901-1902. Gold, silver, enamel, moonstone, topaz, freshwater pearl. Height x width x depth: 9 x 10.5 x 1.5 cm
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