Four Rare Post-Modern Sterling Silver Champagne Flutes by Robert May
Four Rare Post-Modern Sterling Silver Champagne Flutes Designed & Made by British Designer & Silversmith Robert May
A truly rare & unique set of four stunningly handsome sterling silver champagne flutes, specifically designed & made on commission by highly acclaimed British designer & silversmith Robert May, to commemorate the Silver Jubilee of HRH Queen Elizabeth II's 25-year reign as British Monarch.
All four flutes showcasing classic Post-Modern design elements, featuring tapering stems comprised of 24 segmented & oxidized turnings, rising from a turned foot to meet a trumpet-shaped bowl exhibiting a finely gilded interior.
The significance of the 24 turnings on each stem, together with the single turned foot, is that they equate to 25, which was intentionally designed to symbolize the 25-year reign of Queen Elizabeth II as British Monarch. All four flutes bearing London hallmarks, one pair with date mark for 1977 together with the Silver Jubilee mark & makers marks for Robert May, the 2nd pair bearing date marks for 1978 together with makers marks for Robert May, were commissioned possibly as a precaution in the event one or both of the earlier flutes were either damaged or lost.
All measuring 6.25” high x 3.5 diameter, and weighing an impressive combined weight of 1024 grams or 32.92 troy ounces!
Accompanying the purchase of these truly rare, commissioned champagne flutes is a copy of their original working drawings with handwritten notations by Robert May, along with a redacted copy of the original invoice on his studio letterhead known as 'The Southern Design Workshop', dated Dec. 1977 & signed by Robert May.
ROBERT MAY BIO: Robert May trained in silversmithing and jewellery design at the Canterbury College of Art from 1953 until 1958. Soon after completing his courses, he began work in 1962 at the Medway College of Design, where he remained for nearly 30 years developing silversmithing & jewellery courses. As a direct result of those efforts, including being the Colleges principal lecturer as well as maintaining his own design studio on site, Medway College of Design became internationally recognized as a major centre for courses in the field of silver & jewellery design. He was sought out for several noteworthy commissions, including two Royal Commissions, one being that of a mace for Her Majesties Royal Palace & Fortress ‘The Tower of London’, and a Baptismal Spoon for the ‘Chapel Royal’ - part of the Royal Household serving the spiritual needs of members of The British Royal Family.
In 1988 Robert May received the Garrard Gold Medal, which is an annual award given by The Goldsmiths’ Craft & Design Council in recognition of a person’s contributions towards promoting & demonstrating the highest standards within the field of Silversmithing and Jewellery Design.
Ref: Royal Goldsmiths: Garrard Design and Patronage in the Twentieth Century, Nell-Rhys Williams, page 62.