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The Birmingham Assay Office has some beautiful examples of regional Arts and Crafts Movement silver in its collection, including these candlesticks by the Birmingham silversmith Albert Edward Jones (1879-1954). They are typical of the Arts and Crafts style, featuring a Shakespearean motto ‘Now is the Witching Hour of the Night’ adapted from Hamlet. These candlesticks are always popular with visitors to the collection because people particularly like the little bats that appear in the middle of the motto. They were Hallmarked in Birmingham and date from 1915/16. Why not come and see them for yourself at one of our public silver visit days? You can find out more about visiting our collection at http://www.theassayoffice.co.uk/silvercollection.html A.E. Jones trained at the Birmingham Municipal School of Art and was apprenticed to Woodwards Silversmiths in Paradise Street and later to Hardman Powells, the ecclesiastical silversmiths. He had close links with the Birmingham Guild of Handicraft and was also associated with the Bromsgrove Guild. He worked initially at his father’s premises in Hurst Street but in 1902 started working on his own account as a silversmith in Windmill Street. The firm moved to Livery Street and eventually to Pemberton Street off Warstone Lane. In 1905, Jones acquired designs and metalwork from the Jesson & Birkett Company Ltd, including the famous St Dunstan’s trademark, which depicted a monk hand-raising a bowl. This became the trademark of A.E.Jones. The company produced a range of hand-made silver items including bowls, candlesticks, tea sets, clocks, trays, butter dishes and condiment sets. The work of A.E. Jones is becoming increasingly sought after by collectors today and the Assay Office holds a number of pieces in its collection.

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