Posted 2 years ago
The entrancing art form of guilloche was introduced to me five years ago, when I fell in love with the tiny perfume flask pictured here (upper left). After researching its origins and discovering some of the most notable companies to produce it, I was hooked.
The Charles Webster company crafted many beautiful guilloche pieces in sterling silver around the turn of the century. He is also known for his sterling and mother-of-pearl baby rattles, produced roughly until the start of the Great Depression, when Deco opulence fell out of style. The perfume flask is a Webster piece. Note the gold foil bird in the center. This is common among Webster guilloche creations, so if you happen upon a guilloche item that is unsigned, yet features a golden bird, it is likely Webster.
The hand mirror was my second guilloche purchase, and is also set in sterling. While there is no maker’s mark, its creator took great pride in crafting it, as it is intricately detailed. Based on my research, I suspect that it dates to around the same time as the Webster flask.
The brooch is a younger piece, dating to the 1940s, and is also set in sterling. It is a locket, and I am sure that it once held the visage of a loved one close to the original owner’s heart.
Whether buying to collect or resell, here is a tip: guilloche accessories adorned with hand-painted flowers are valuable, though common, while those with silhouettes and scenic views are more scarce and command higher prices.
The pieces pictured here are my powder blue pieces. I have more guilloche accessories in white enameling with figural scenes that I am excited to share in the future. Also, I have a few guilloche examples by Norwegian silversmiths that I look forward to discussing, so I invite you to check back for these upcoming posts. Thank you for looking, and enjoy!