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WASB No 1109/s with James Powell threaded Vaseline glass shade.


Pair of No 1173/s Combination Table / Wall Lamps with James Powell Vaseline glass shades.


In 1880 having been taught the use of simple lathes and machinery by his uncle,

and encouraged by William Morris, William Arthur Smith Benson began metalwork production

in Fulham, London. As his business grew Benson closely followed developments in technology, mastering all the processes of casting, turning, folding and riveting many variations of interchangeable components. He opened a showroom in Bond Street in 1887 displaying

light fittings, fireplace accessories, plant stands and hollow-ware, in silver, copper, brass,

iron and polished steel, patenting many of his popular designs to protect them from the

array of sub-standard copies that flooded the market.

WAS Benson was at the forefront of electric installation in homes all over Britain, advising on suitable lighting schemes and installation. In 1893 he electrified Philip Webb’s latest architectural commission, Standen, near East Grinstead, Sussex, now owned by the National Trust.

His metalwork and lighting designs reached iconic status, sold in galleries throughout Europe,

and in 1896 when William Morris died it was Benson with a colleague who bought Morris & Co and ran it alongside his own company until he resigned in 1917.

Benson attracted much acclaim for his metalwork designs and manufacturing processes.

The Studio Magazine of Decorative Arts, The Magazine of Art, and Herman Muthesius in

Das Englische Haus, were among the many who applauded his innovations.

Benson Desk Lamp in antique silver plate

complete with rare No1336 orichalcum reflector shade.

Benson No 267 oil lamp with rare No 678 petal shade.


Anodised copper No 921/s Table Standard Lamp with
James Powell Vaseline glass shade.

WAS Benson No 1546 with Powell teardrop shades.

WAS Benson No 1223 standard lamp.

WAS Benson No 1194