Kevin Grey’s Animus, achieved £72,500  at Bonhams Decorative Arts & Furniture sale


Contemporary British Silversmiths shine at Bonhams Decorative Art Sale

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Stunning and pioneering works in silver specially commissioned for the recent Victoria and Albert Museum exhibition, Silver Speaks: ‘From Idea to Object’ were offered at Bonhams Decorative Art and Design Sale in London on 27 September.

The exhibition, curated by design critic Corinne Julius, was organised by Contemporary British Silversmiths to mark its 20th anniversary and showcased the very best of British silver design and craft.

The sale marked the first collection of contemporary silver to come to auction straight from a significant museum display, and featured number of pieces including:

Animus, a sculptured centrepiece by Kevin Grey. In the work Grey, three times holder of the prestigious Goldsmiths’ Company Crafts and Design Council award, uses cutting edge technology to explore the idea of a continuous revolving thought, which demands total absorption until the solution is found. He works directly with the material, making no preliminary drawings, but hand-forming strips of silver, TIG welding them together and confronting complex technical issues as they arise. 

The pioneering work was the highlight of Bonhams Decorative Arts & Furniture sale on Wednesday 27 September, achieving a record-breaking £72,500 for a contemporary silversmith at auction. 

Other works offered at auction that were also included in the exhibition included Mary Ann Simmons’ silver ’12:24’ Geometric Faceted Form Vessel which achieved £8,000.

Rajesh Gogna’s Silver Iced-Teapot and Cup with Acrylic Support which sold for £20,000.


Bonhams Head of Silver, Ellis Finch said: 

“This was a marvellous result for contemporary British silversmiths that shows the medium, which has a longstanding history of pioneering design and creativity, is very much alive. We were honoured that Contemporary British Silversmiths – that mounted the exhibition at the V & A - chose Bonhams to offer pieces at auction.”

The 578-lot sale, which encompassed modern masterpieces of furniture, Lalique glass, and an impressive collection of silver from the Benney family archive, totalled £763,100.

Waves by Nan Nan Liu, a sculpture estimated at £12,000-14,000.  Reflecting her fascination with 

Angela Cork, Chair of the Contemporary British Silversmiths said:

"This sale represented a very exciting moment in contemporary silver and I’m delighted that Bonhams chose Contemporary British Silversmiths to mount its first ever contemporary silver sale. As the leading association for design led silversmithing, our association has over 20 years experience of putting on bespoke exhibitions that focus on production of brand new work. This sale perfectly aligned with our mission of creating brand new markets and promoting contemporary silver to audiences internationally”


Rebecca van Rooijen


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