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A little bit of history on an antique Arts and Crafts bronze comport

We recently acquired this stunning large antique arts and crafts bronze comport or tazza, intricately engraved and made for the Art Union of London with a metal plaque on the back that states ART UNION OF LONDON.  It’s possibly by Elkington & Co, but sadly isn’t signed anywhere.  This beautiful Tazza or comport is 28cms across and 12.5cms high and probably dates from the late 19th century 1870 to around 1900 but hard to be specific as it’s not dated either, the style rather suggests late 19th century though.

Arts Union of London, Bronze Tazza possibly by Elkingtons from Antik Seramika, UK

Art Union of London

The Art Union of London was an interesting organisation. It was an artistic union set up in 1837 as a type of lottery for ordinary people to acquire hand crafted beautiful pieces.  They bought a ticket much as you would today but the winner got an individual hand crafted piece of artistic work from a copper, metal or bronzer charger or tazza like this one, to beautiful hand made pottery pieces.  The Union also gave prizes for art, mainly in the form of medals.  The products produced by the Art Union of London were a variety including pottery and metal wares and some were made by famous artists and companies of the period.  The were often one-off pieces so that makes them highly collectible today.

Arts and Crafts movement in the late 19th century

This comport is a lovely piece of engraved bronze work and fits with the Arts and Crafts movement in the late 19th century.  It is similar to pieces that have been attributed to Elkington & Co, a silversmiths operating in Birmingham from the 1830s but sadly it’s not signed anywhere that can be seen.

This lovely Tazza will be going on the website in the next week or so, so if you would like more information then please contact