Period: Arts and Crafts
Length: 16.5 inches
Width: 11 inches
A large, bright, and impressive rectangular copper tray, hammered from a single sheet by the master coppersmith John Pearson, and with his mark 'J.P' stamped on the underside, indicating that this piece was probably made at his workshop in Hanway Street, London, on or just after 1901. There is a small hook soldered onto the back of the tray, which would have been applied later for hanging, but aside from this small detail, the tray is in fantastic condition.
Little is known of John Pearson's life, though he is widely regarded as one of the finest copper craftsmen of the arts and crafts period. He was one of the leading metalworkers at the Guild of Handicrafts, of which he was one of the founding members, and he created the work exhibited by the Guild at the 1888 Arts and Crafts exhibition. He resigned from the Guild in 1892 after controversy over the use of maker's marks, and he taught metal beating at the Newlyn School in Cornwall from 1892-1899.