This section is from the book "Arts & Crafts Magazine Vol1-2", by Hutchinson & Company.
The attractiveness of the Society's exhibition this year was undoubtedly enhanced by the setting it received in the magnificent rooms of Seaford House, Belgrave Square, which Lord Howard de Walden lent for the occasion. The noble staircase was hung with some of the choicest of the embroideries, including the pair of Italian wall panels, each about 8 by 2 ft., for which Mrs. Benyon received the Society's prize, and the charming work by Lady Florence Duncombe, to which our Editor awarded the Silver Medal of Arts and Crafts. This latter award was based on an exquisite scheme of colour treatment carried out with extraordinary skill, and involving - as we learned subsequently - the patient labour of many years. That a palette which can only be described as consisting of greens, browns, and drabs, melting into the creamy foundation of the fabric, should yield a silvery grey of the softest and most delicate description is hardly conceivable; but such is the fact, and therein lies the magic of Lady Florence's achievement.
In regard to the regular awards by the Society, it should be understood that only its Associates were eligible for prizes. The full list was: - Landscape, "In the Engadine," a snow-scene, Mrs. Jardine, prize; landscape, by Miss Madeleine Lewis, highly commended; seascape. Captain Fuller Maitland, highly commended; head, Lady de Saumarez, highly commended; leather stool, Mary W. Benson, prize; jewellery, enamel work, Mrs. Bethune, prize; silver work, the Misses Rimington, highly commended; embroidery, Lady Margaret Majendie, highly commended; Italian embroidery, Mrs. Benyon; Miss Horner, highly commended; Mrs. Frances Bodd would have received first prize for special subject, "Sunlight" (" In a Roman Garden "), but she was disqualified on account of gaining the prize last year; Mrs. Charles Wiener was highly commended for a very spirited wash-drawing, in body colour, "A War Correspondent"; Miss Louisa Denison was highly commended for a study of trees; Miss C. Donelly, for embossed (and painted) leather; Mrs. Branson, for a shell and mother-of-pearl mirror (described in the award as "enamelled brass"). The judges were: For painting, Mr. Jacomb Hood and Mr. Remington; for arts and crafts, Mrs. Horner and Mrs. A. Morrison; jewellery and enamels, Mr. H. Cunyn-hame.
Among many excellent exhibits not officially commended must be mentioned the miniatures by Mrs. Peyton, which appear in our frontispiece, and, by the way, lose by photographic reproduction, which seems to be the fate of nearly all miniature work. The crispness of her touch, which is very noticeable in the original of the miniature of Princess Louis of Battenberg, is not so apparent in our illustration. On the same page are examples from Mrs. Bethune's prize exhibit of jewellery. Mrs. Dick, as usual, was handsomely represented in this department, but was "hors concours." The jewellery by Mrs. Arthur Mure and Miss Winton was also of the first rank. Further illustrations will appear next month.
Among the best of the pictures contributed for sale, for the benefit of several worthy charities which enjoy the special patronage of the Society, were three broadly executed paintings in oil, of high merit, by Her Royal Highness Victoria Melita, Grand Duchess of Hesse - "Violin and Roses," in which the deep crimson of the flowers harmonised delightfully with the warm browns of the instrument and the well-modulated greys of the background; rich purple "Anemones"; and, most successful of all, " Wall Flowers," in a vase with unctuous glaze of robin's-egg blue, relieved against a skilfully managed grey background. The Marchioness of Granby sent some of her refined pencil studies of heads, and there were contributions, for the same purpose, by the Duchess of Buckingham, the Duchess of Somerset, Lady Bruce, Miss Clogstoun, Miss Muriel Hunt, Miss Whelpton, Miss Ethel Nisbet, Mrs. Marrable, Mrs. Travers, Miss Whyley, Miss Ackland-Wood, Mr. J. Heathcote, Mr. C. Heathcote, Miss Wynne, Miss Fowler, Colonel Goff, Colonel Duthie, Mr. Archer Cook, Mr. Wallace Rimington, Mr. James Powell, and Mr. Sydney Glover. As usual, Lady Maxwell-Lyte worked indefatigably to get together the collection, and a handsome sum of money must have been realised for the charities. But the success of the exhibition as a whole was particularly due to its admirable direction by the Honorary Secretary, the Honourable Mrs. Mallett.
By H.R.H. Princess Lou se of Schleswig-Holstein, who is a skilful worker in enamels, there were some elegant fan sticks, which, we understand, are to be shown at the Paris Salon. The fan, we would observe, by the way, offers a very suitable medium for the introduction of fine enamel decoration, and we shall hope to see in future a wider recognition of the fact. Unfortunately, this most ancient and characteristic of accessories of the feminine toilette is neglected by our amateur artists. The fans sent to the present exhibition, for instance, were very few, and not worthy of special notice.
In wood-carving, Mr. R. C. Moffatt sent the only notable examples - a small carved box-stool with drawers underneath, of English yew, with hinges in armoured steel, and a small oak-chest with similar metal mountings; both objects were beautiful in design and workmanship.
Among the belated arrivals at the exhibition was an antique armchair recovered with cloth-of-gold, lavishly embroidered in Earty Italian style, in imitation of brocade, and set off with a coat-of-arms. This strikingly handsome exhibit was contributed by Viscountess Hood.
The bookbindings included several choice examples by Miss Patience Cockerill, and by Miss Marshall and Miss Gedge. In embossed leather there was characteristic work by Miss Ellen Sparkes and Miss E. Savory.