Gerald Benney (British, 1930-2008) Enamel and Silver Box
Circular form with signature bark texture to the exterior and green leather interior, the domed pull-off cover having translucent gold enamel over textured ground, gilded interior, impressed GERALD BENNEY LONDON, also with master enameller's mark RVW in an oval punch, for Robert Vidal Winter, boxed, ht. 2 3/4, dia. 3 in.
Note: Gerald Benney (1930-2008) was one of England's most talented gold and silversmiths in the 20th century. He studied at the Royal College of Art where he was awarded a Prince of Wales Scholarship for a silver tea service in 1952 and began working commercially after graduating. He soon discovered, accidentally, that a hammer with a damaged head produces a very unique textural effect, known as the "Benney Bark Finish" which was widely copied for its tarnish-repelling quality and interesting contemporary look. Benney, credited with reviving the art of enamel, was also renowned for his design of silver boxes and stainless steel cutlery. He held four Royal Warrants simultaneously, was given the award Royal Designer for Industry in 1971, was Professor of Silversmithing and Jewelry at the Royal College of Art from 1974 to 1983, and was named Commander of the Order of the British Empire in 1995.