A trove of timely treasures

A close up of the metal sconce at Stoneywell

Stoneywell is the epitome of William Morris' golden rule: 'have nothing in your houses that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful.' From Arts and Crafts creations to treasures from a time fondly remembered, the items of Stoneywell's collection have rich and fascinating stories to tell. This month, we take a closer look at the beautiful brass sconce that adorns the sitting room wall.

This month’s object is one that definitely catches the eye. As you move from the dining room to the sitting room, one of the first things you notice is the brass candle sconce that sits on the wall by the steps.

This beautiful double candle wall light has a detailed design, and like many arts and crafts pieces, inspired heavily by nature with wonderful oak leaf and acorn motifs. The sconce is designed so that delicate candle light will bounce off the metal, reflecting into the room. Just imagine as the summer nights draw in, the cosiness of the sitting room with the reflected flickering candle light dancing on the cool walls.

The sconce is also one of the more modern pieces in the cottage, as it was made by Norman Bucknell in the 1970s. However it has a strong link with Stoneywell’s past as Norman was the son of Alfred Bucknell, a blacksmith whose craftsmanship caught the eye of Ernest Gimson.

Major Arts and Crafts figure Ernest Gimson designed Stoneywell for his brother in 1898
Old photograph of Ernest Gimson relaxing on some steps

For some time, Alfred worked in a forge set up by Ernest in Sapperton, Gloucestershire, after Ernest’s death, he then set up independently. Norman was first an apprentice to Peter Waals, a cabinet maker, before joining his father. He made a mixture of architectural and decorative pieces.

Norman used an Ernest Gimson design for the sconce. Although Ernest is most known for his architectural and furniture designs, he also drew patterns for metalwork, plasterwork and even embroidery.

Now this beautiful piece is one of the star attractions of the sitting room, an intricately and carefully made object and definitely one that catches the eye.

Looking closely at the detail of a metal sconce designed by Ernest Gimson
A close up of the metal sconce at Stoneywell