The Personal Archive of Louis Osman, Goldsmith and Architect

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Date of Auction: 27th March 2018

Sold for £2,400

Estimate: £200 - £400

Louis Osman Archive: A selection of designs for silver work, including designs for a candelabra and bowl for the John Feeny Charitable Trust, Birmingham, a goblet and a covered bowl for the Carpenters’ Company, a wine flagon for the Grocers’ Company, a candelabra for the Merchant Venturers in Bristol, designs and working drawings for a leather presentation casket displaying a copy of the marriage settlement of James III of Scotland and Margaret of Denmark, two designs for the Topham trophy competition, a series of pages of design ideas for pieces for the the International Exhibition of Modern Jewellery, 1890-1961, and further designs for dishes, centrepieces, candelabras, goblets undertaken for private commission, together with a further selection of sketches and designs unrelated to silver work, and photographic slides of some finished pieces. £200-400


Throughout the 1960s and 1970s, Mirabel Topham held a competition to design a trophy for the Topham Steeplechase at the Grand National. The competition attracted huge numbers of entrants, being a wonderful opportunity for young designers. The terms were set that “any sculpture of any piece of silver suggesting motion or achievement may be appropriate”. In 1966 Louis submitted two designs under the pseudonym ‘Lulu’. One was based around a horse’s skull, the other, which won a prize in the competition, comprises symbolic horses, moving on clock springs.

See: Andrews, J. and Styles, D.,
Designer: British Silver, from studios established 1930-1988, British Library Press, 2014.
See: Louis Osman Gold Exhibition, Goldsmiths’ Hall, February 1971, cat no 14, 20, 65 and 87.
See: Osman, An exhibition at Canons Ashby, May 1974, cat no 62, 75, 80, 81 and 82.
See: Treasures of the 20th century, Goldsmiths’ Company exhibition, cat no 209, 211, 214 and 232.