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Studio: international art — 2.1894

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si wards in the Lamp Prize Competition

AWARDS IN THE PRIZE COM-
PETITION FOR A LAMP. RE-
PORT OF THE JUDGES.
We have carefully considered the
eleven designs for the above competition, and
much regret to say that we do not consider that
any of them are of sufficient merit to justify award-
ing prizes. In one or two cases where the designs
exhibit a certain amount of knowledge, the work-
ing descriptions condemn them. We have been
compelled in a great measure to base our report on
these descriptions, as it is an essential feature of a
working drawing that nothing should be left in-
definite on the chance that the workman who is
to make it has sufficient skill to do it the right
way. The design marked " Alba " is far the best
by a very long way, from a manufacturer's point of
view. His instructions to the workman display
the minutest knowledge of the way the article is to
be made. It is an exceptionally good working
drawing, and we regret that we feel compelled to
disqualify him because, according to his instruc-
tions, the lamp is entirely a pottery lamp (the only
metal part about it being the container, which is
scarcely seen), and we do not consider it fair to
those who have kept within the limits of the com-
petition that the first place should be awarded to
" Alba," who has gone beyond them. We have
based our report on the fact that as regards the
making up of the design it is no concern of ours, as
judges, how difficult or expensive it may be; but
when it conies to purchasing a design with the pur-
pose of making it up, the excessive expense which
the majority would entail put them out of the
question. The false coring which is employed in
most of the designs is the most expensive of all
possible methods of ornamentation, and in many
cases, where casting is thoroughly understood, an
equal effect can be got by the ordinary process.

"Vulcan," First place. Very simple in con-
struction j broad in treatment. General balance
and proportion excellent. Thoroughly practicable.

" Spes," Second place. This design requires
too many materials to make an artistic combina-
tion. The general construction is far too com-
plicated ; and the oil capacity of reservoir in-
sufficient, although it is practicable.

The following are not classed in any order of
merit:—

" Alba" would have been placed first had he
followed our terms of competition and made the
stand, or part of the stand, in metal. His design
is correct in style, well drawn and balanced, and
displays thorough practical knowledge of con-
struction ; but the whole is essentially a pottery
lamp with a metal reservoir.

" Babylonia." Thoroughly impracticable, especi-
ally in the construction of base. Ornament in-
appropriate. Bad throughout.

" Greybars." Decoration more suitable for fiat
surfaces. Contour of lamp not sufficiently con-
sidered.

" Lux." Great want of originality.
34

" Radevore." Design, poor and weak, especially
in construction of lamp shaft.

" Perseus." Good style, too heavy in construc-
tion, not well balanced. Lamp, as a whole, top-
heavy and awkward in appearance.

" Rienzi." No originality. Construction want-
ing in stability and firmness above base.

" Bronze." No instructions given as to mechani-
cal construction. It has two serious faults—the
container is unsafe; and the base, both artistically
and practically, bad, and liable from its shape to
damage furniture.

" Bulrush." No instructions given as to me-
chanical construction, except as to details of finish.
Design, heavy in appearance and unsatisfactory.
The combination of the metal pillar and the
marble base is too abrupt.

Yours truly,

Benton & Stone.

To keep faith with competitors, the prizes are
given to—Vutca?i, first prize, ^3 35. (Frederick
Perry, 37 Oxford Street, Pleck); Spes, second
prize, £t iu. 6d. (L. C. Radcliffe, 15 Danube
Street, Liverpool), who are placed first and second
in the above report. In future, since the whole
intention of these competitions is to obtain prac-
tical schemes, the prizes will not be awarded in,
face of an adverse report from the judges.

CURRENT ITEMS.

The Art and Industrial Exhibition at Bristol is
another instance of the reviving interest in decora-
tive work—which, first ignored, and then abused,
may ere long become a formidable rival to picture-
making. That a beautiful pattern is better than a
poor painting needs no argument to prove.

In the Kansas City Star a critic writes :—" Mr.
Whistler is universally known as an American artist
living in London, who brought a libel suit against
Mr. Ruskin because that great art authority did
not like his paintings. But the work of this eccen-
tric personage is quite unknown to the great
majority." If we only knew who this well-informed
person meant in his last sentence—Ruskin or
Whistler—it would be more convincing. He goes
on to instance some of Mr. Whistler's etchings which
" have all been published in the magazines." Evi-
dently Ransas City is somewhat behind Clapham
in its art knowledge.

The Liverpool Autumn Exhibition preserves the
high reputation it has so deservedly won in former
years. The sales are also good.

The Manchester City Art Gallery reports good
attendance and a hopeful list of sales at its autumn
exhibition. Mr. Stanhope Forbes's Lighthouse,
recently bought by the corporation, is naturally one
of the lions of the show.

The Exhibition at Nottingham Castle is a spe-
cially interesting one, including a number of fine
Boningtons and many paintings by Henry Dawson
Walter Duncan, and Edwin Ellis.
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