Works by Alan Place are extremely rare and this is a stunning example of his work. Based on traditional arts & crafts forms and practices, this oval bowl is totally hand raised.
The skillfully formed body is gracefully formed with a flaring edge with eight deep, vertically incised lines. The upper rim has an applied band.
The base is a wide, flaring dome foot with small, vertical creases matching the upper edge of the body.
The surface of the bowl both inside and out has a wonderful sparkle with soft hammering.
Alan Place had his workshop in the late 1960's in Kinross, Scotland, 'where he creates an endless variety of lovely things, from tiny delicate works of art in silver and gold to great powerful sculpture in copper and steel and wrought iron'. He created the Winston Churchill medal of which 25 were made in gold and 100 were made in Britannia silver (a higher grade than sterling). 'The Queen has a number of pieces of his beautiful creations , including a gold box with a crystal lid, and a silver rose bowl presented to her in 1959 by The Royal College of Physicians, in Edinburgh'.1
He was also 'the head of the gold and silversmithing department at Brisbane College of Advanced Education in Queensland'.2
According to the same article, he says people are ''getting bored with having everything the same as everyone else.'' There appears to be a trend toward the purchase of things that are individual, he said.3
''Before I design a piece of silver,'' he explained, ''I interview a person to find out his background and his likes and dislikes. The client helps design the piece.''4
This rare centerpiece is marked underneath 'A.P. within a shaped oval along 'STG. SILVER' and a cross in a circular punch. It measures 11.25 inches wide by 8.5 inches wide by 4 inches high, weighs a very impressive 28 troy ounces, has never been engraved and is in excellent condition. Provenance:
This bowl was custom made for a client who ordered it directly from silversmith Alan Place who made this to match a previously made water pitcher. Endnotes:
- Jewellery Inspired by Nature by Elise Walker, in The Glasgow Herald, June 2, 1966, p. 7.
- CRAFTS; SILVERSMITHING: AN ART NOT LOST by Patricia Malarcher, in The New York Times, July 27th, 1986.