4 Table Forks, 1896 by Gilbert Marks
Table Forks (4) - London 1896 by Gilbert Marks - 21.6cm long; 384g combined weight - AJ/6302b
Gilbert Marks is one of the most sought after names in English silver and considering the premium price for most of his pieces, this is a great opportunity to own a set of four silver table forks bearing his "GM" maker's mark.
These dinner forks are all decorated with an Art Nouveau style scroll pattern to the terminal and bear the engraved crest featuring a stag and flag of the original owner. The condition is superb with all the tines being full and equal in length and the decoration to the front of the handle remaining crisp.
Gilbert Leigh Marks (1861-1905) was one of the first silversmiths to consciously renounce industrial manufacture in favour of making by hand. Although he seems to have had little to do with the Arts and Crafts movement he shared many of its ideals. The importance of his work lies in the outstanding quality of its chasing. In a short career cut short by ill health, he is known to have only produced between only 700 and 800 pieces - most of them in silver. His earlier pieces were almost entirely dedicated to the perfection of chasing floral motifs.
"The man who buys the stock plate is buying useful articles but not unique ones, whereas he who commissions an original work upon which the craftsman has bestowed his best personal labour is buying a work of art, the money value of which increases with an increase of reputation that may come to the artist". (Gilbert Leigh Marks speaking in an interview with The London Art Journal in 1898).
See `The Directory of Gold & Silversmiths, Jewellers & Allied Traders, 1838-1914` vol. I, by John Culme pages 312-13 for more information.