GERALD BENNEY


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Gerald Benney was one of the most outstanding and influential British goldsmiths of the second half of the 20th century. During a career spanning more than 50 years, he was the first British craftsman to hold four Royal Warrants simultaneously. His work has had a major impact on the survival of domestic silver in Britain.
Adrian Gerald Sallis Benney (April 21 1930 - June 26 2008) was taught from 1946 to 1948 by Dunstan Pruden, the Roman Catholic ecclesiastical arts and crafts silversmith, at Brighton College of Art, where his father was Principal. At this period his work was initially influenced by the arts and crafts style of his teacher and later, for a brief period, by pre-Second World War modernism.
After military service, from 1948 to 1950, Benney studied at the Royal College of Art and in 1952 a four-piece tea service and tray secured him the Prince of Wales Scholarship.
In his last term at the RCA he purchased a plating business off Tottenham Court Road, as the premises were ideal for a workshop.
In this period, trying to create pieces totally new and identifiable as being of his time, Benney was influenced by the purity and minimalism of Scandinavian design. For him this translated into a range of domestic silver notable for its clean, simple lines.
By the early 1960s, the style of Benney's work became instantly recognisable obtaining commissions in the specialist (Christie's, ICI, British Oxygen, Oxford and Cambridge universities) and in the mass market, developing a range of bestselling cutlery for Viners of Sheffield where he was Consultant Designer in the period 1957-1969.
Technically he was highly innovative, inventing the "no scrap blank", which enabled Viners to produce items in great quantities without waste, as well as devising a method of texturing silver with tiny striations, initially achieved by a bent hammer. This process eliminates tarnish and fingerprints and creates an attractive "bark finish" which became his signature. He was financially shrewd too, arranging royalty payments for his work.
In 1969 he moved his London studio to Falcon Wharf, Bankside and by 1973 was at warehouses in Bear Lane, Southwark.
In 1974 he had to let most of his 19 staff go and moved everything to Beenham House, his home in Berkshire, where he stayed until 1998.
In 1993 his son Simon opened the showroom Benney in Walton Street.
Gerald Benney had one man exhibitions at Goldsmith's Hall in 1973, enamels in 1994 and another in 2005.



STERLING SILVER HALLMARKS
Gerald Benney, London hallmark, date 1979
Gerald Benney, London hallmark, date 1979


Gerald Benney silver Gerald Benney silver Gerald Benney silver


Gerald Benney silver Gerald Benney silver

Gerald Benney silver Gerald Benney silver Gerald Benney silver Gerald Benney design


BRITISH SILVER MAKERS: MARKS, HISTORY AND INFORMATION
Adie & Lovekin markAdie & Lovekin John Charle Angell & George Angell markAngell Family Asprey & Co markAsprey & Co Atkin Brothers markAtkin Brothers Barker Brothers markBarker Brothers E. Barnard & Sons markE.Barnard & Sons Hester Bateman markBateman Family Maurice Baum markM. Baum Gerald Benney markG. Benney Barnabus Blackburn markB.Blackburn Boardman, Glossop & Co Ltd markBoardman,Glossop & Co Matthew Boulton markM.Boulton Charles Boyton & Son markC.Boyton & Son Thomas Bradbury & Sons markT.Bradbury & Sons Alfred Browett trade markA.Browett Chawner & Co markChawner & Co Alexander Clark Manufacturing Co markA.Clark Manufacturing Co G.R. Collis & Co markG.R.Collis & Co Augustin Courtauld markCourtauld Family Daniel & Arter markDaniel & Arter go to James Deakin & Sons pageJ.Deakin & Sons Stuart Devlin markS.Devlin Deykin & Sons markDeykin & Sons James Dixon & Sons markJ.Dixon & Sons Dobson & Sons markDobson & Sons William Eley I and William Fearn markEley family Elkington hallmarkElkington & Co John Emes markEmes family Fattorini & Sons markFattorini & Sons Charles Thomas Fox and George Fox markFox family Garrard & Co Ltd markGarrard & Co Samuel Godbehere markS.Godbehere Goldsmiths & Silversmiths Co markGoldsmiths & Silversmiths Co John Grinsell & Sons markJ.Grinsell & Sons Hamilton & Inches markHamilton & Inches Hancock & Co markC.F.Hancock Harrison Brothers & Howson markHarrison Br. & Howson Hayne & Cater markHayne & Cater Hennell family markHennell family Holland Aldwinckle & Slater markHolland Aldwinckle & Slater Horton & Allday markHorton & Allday Hukin & Heath Ltd markHukin & Heath William Hutton & Sons Ltd markW.Hutton & Sons George Jamieson markG.Jamieson Lambert & Co trade markLambert & Co Paul De Lamerie markP.deLamerie Latham & Morton markLatham & Morton Levi & Salaman markLevi &  Salaman Charles Maas markC.Maas & Co Mappin & Webb markMappin & Webb Martin Hall & Co markMartin Hall & Co R.F. Mosley markR.F.Mosley Henry George Murphy markH.G.Murphy Pairpoint Brothers markPairpoint Brothers H.H. Plante markH.H.Plante Thomas Prime & Son markT.Prime & Son Robert Pringle & Sons markR.Pringle & Sons Omar Ramsden markO. Ramsden Reid & Sons markReid & Sons Richards & Brown markRichards & Brown Roberts & Belk markRoberts & Belk John Round & Son Ltd markJ.Round & Son Sampson Mordan & Co Ltd markSampson Mordan & Co Goldsmiths' Alliance Ltd  Ltd markA.B.Savory & Sons Sibray, Hall & Co markSibray, Hall & Co W & G Sissons markW & G Sissons Smily family markSmily Family Spurrier trade markSpurrier Paul Storr markP.Storr Tessiers Ltd trade markTessiers Ltd F.B. Thomas & Co markF.B.Thomas & Co George Unite & Sons markG.Unite & Sons C.J. Vander Ltd markC.J.Vander Wakely & Wheeler markWakely & Wheeler Walker & Hall markWalker & Hall D & J Wellby Ltd markD&J Wellby Ltd West & Son markWest & Son Henry Wilkison & Co markH.Wilkinson & Co Josiah Williams & Co markJ.Williams & Co Horace Woodward & Co Ltd markH.Woodward & Co
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This is a page of 'The What is? Silver Dictionary' of A Small Collection of Antique Silver and Objects of vertu, a 1500 pages richly illustrated website offering all you need to know about antique silver, sterling silver, silverplate, Sheffield plate, electroplate silver, silverware, flatware, tea services and tea complements, marks and hallmarks, articles, books, auction catalogs, famous silversmiths (Tiffany, Gorham, Jensen, Elkington), history, oddities ...
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