Halcyon Days Elizabeth Browning Enamel Box
To commemorate the bicentenary of the birth in 1806 of one of the best-loved English poets. Elizabeth’s courtship and secret marriage to Robert Browning, in defiance of her domineering father, is one of the most romantic love stories in literary history.
Inscribed around the base of this elegant box are poignant lines from her poetry, including those from her most famous work, Sonnets from the Portuguese, dedicated to her husband: How do I love thee? Let me count the ways.Inside the base is a view of Florence, where she and her husband settled after their marriage and where she died in 1861.
Founded by Susan Benjamin in 1950, Halcyon Days was initially a small antiques shop based on Avery Row in London which specialised in dealing with English antiques, in particular small enamel boxes. By 1959 the company had outgrown its original premises and moved to its home on Brook Street, where it remained for some 50 years. It now operates a shop in the Royal Exchange in the City of London ( opens September 2016 ) and from its offices and showroom in Knightsbridge, London.
Whilst the English craft of enameling onto copper flourished during the 18th century, by the 1830s it had almost disappeared; consequently the pieces which Halcyon Days specialised in were extremely rare. In 1970 Susan Benjamin established a collaboration with enamel manufacturer Bilston and Battersea Enamels.
In 1978 Halcyon Days was granted the Royal Warrant of Queen Elizabeth II, followed in 1987 by the Royal Warrants of the Duke of Edinburgh and The Prince of Wales, as the first ever ‘Suppliers of Objets d’Art’.
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