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Aesthetic Movement Antique Umbrella Stand Embossed Hammered Brass William Tonks

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Item Description

Aesthetic Movement antique umbrella stand, embossed & hammered brass in the style of William Tonks & Son, 1890`s ca, English.

This antique umbrella stand has been gently cleaned while respecting the aged patina.
This umbrella stand is in the Aesthetic Movement style which flourished in Britain between 1860-1900. The design movement was a reaction to the Industrial Age intended to bring beauty to everyday objects. Aesthetic artists drew inspiration from various cultures & periods, in this example from ancient Greek Art, with the decorative sunflower pattern on the brass. 
The slender classical form & elegant proportions make this piece well sized for any entrance. It would complement a range of interiors such as Antique, Arts & Crafts, Traditional, Hollywood Regency or Contemporary.
The design consists of a rectangular container in solid wood covered with a solid brass sheet. The brass sheet continues along the sides to the back. On the reverse there is the original antique metal backplate in black enamel.
The brass frame has interesting & unique decorations. The background has the traditional hammered effect. The surface is divided in three areas by two portions of solid brass flat banding, fitted with decorative round brass tacks. The middle portion has an oversized embossed sunflower with a central geometric fleur-de-lis pattern. The sunflower symbolizes lasting happiness & adoration, but furthermore something that is much bigger & brighter than themselves. Traditionally the Lily flower was used in ornamentation to represent the French crown,  it was meant to signify the power of the monarch and his purity of rule . Medieval symbols such as this were used during the Aesthetic Movement for romantic effect. Being handcrafted there is slight asymmetry of the piece & minor variations in decoration.
The topside of the stand is divided into two entries leading to a main compartment. The edge is also covered in a sheet of hammered brass effect, with riveting in the joints. The internal side of the compartment is in solid wood. There is an empty portion at the bottom of the backplate, to keep the umbrellas dry & also to easily clean the internal portion of the stand. 
This antique umbrella stand is in good condition for its age. The stand is very stable and has a good weight. The antique patina has been preserved. The wooden frame is sound with no missing parts. The metal surfaces overall are in good condition with a warm age patina adding character & depth. Minor superficial marks, rubbing & tiny loses to the brass are present as expected for an antique piece, all in line with age & wear.
Packing is offered free of charge. We take special professional care while packing. For safe transport the umbrella stand would be wrapped in bubble wrap, foam and an outer layer of card. It would then easily fit into a box with loose fill packing nuts, safe for posting with a courier. We ship with reliable couriers (signed for, tracked & insured).
Within London UK: Free
UK Mainland: £ Free
European Union: £ 75
United States/Canada: £ 120
Japan: £ 155
Australia: £ 215
Rest of the World please enquire.


The foundry William Tonks & Sons was founded in 1794. One of the largest and most prolific metalware making companies in Birmingham, Great Britain, during the 19th Century. As early as 1852, they supplied quality metal art work, such as candle stick holders, magazine racks & stands to Liberty`s London in the Arts & Crafts & Aesthetic Movement styles much in vogue then. They won gold medals at the exhibitions of 1851 and 1862 in London and in 1855 in Paris.
First patented pieces can be found in catalogues around 1864. Tonks also made a vast quantity of different items that other manufacturers could use in their designs, as well as items for use in a more architectural context such as door knockers & plates and window latches. Items made by Tonks will carry the WT & S mark stamped to the back alongside the sun motif. The Company, employing over 500 people, survived well into the 20th Century. In 1970 they merged with Newman Brothers, later acquired by Ingersoll-Rand.


The Aesthetic Movement in Britain covered the period of 1860 to 1900. Artists designed to escape the Industrial Revolution Age, by concentrating instead on producing art that was beautiful rather than having a deeper meaning: `Art for Art`s sake`. These new bohemian Aesthetic artists included Dante Gabriel Rossetti, William Morris, Edward Burne-Jones, Christopher Dresser & Frederic Leighton.
The Aesthetic Movement initiated extensive artistic & design changes. Its eclecticism, modern concepts of middle-class lifestyle and domestic environment prepared the way for the art movements of the 20th century, resonating even into our own time.

Item Info



Seller Location

London, London

Item Dimensions

H: 61cm W: 30cm D: 18cm


1890's ca, English

Item Location

United Kingdom

Seller Location

London, London

Item Location

United Kingdom

Seller Contact No

+44 (0)795 6645492