A beautiful silver dressing table set decorated in enamels with game birds recently listed at myfamilysilver.com illustrates the work of a member of a remarkable dynasty of family artists more usually associated with the Royal Worcester porcelain factory.
The artist responsible, James Stinton (1870-c1950), was the third generation of his family to work for Worcester in an unbroken association between factory and family which eventually spanned almost a hundred and fifty years. Just as his father John had built a reputation at Worcester as a fine painter of Highland cattle on porcelain and his nephew Harry of stags, James developed a following for his beautifully and intricately worked scenes of gamebirds, especially of pheasants. His highly distinctive images, which originally catered for the Edwardian love of shooting, survives on a great array of porcelain from Worcester, with examples fetching high prices at auction.
However, if the factory was short of orders or for his own amusement and to bolster his income, James would sometimes apply his talent to watercolour. Occasionally, too, he would collaborate with silversmiths in nearby Birmingham in producing a range of, generally, enamelled articles for a woman’s dressing table, such as the present set.
His versatility and the popular nature of his decoration, make Stinton a sought after and highly collected artist whose skill has helped his reputation to transcend that of most artist-craftsmen of his era.