From the 1880s, the Art Nouveau movement developed in response to increasing industrial mass-production and a loss of skill and craft. Turning to the natural world for inspiration, Art Nouveau is characterised by organic forms and sinuous lines. Drawing on influences from the arts and crafts movement as well as Japanese art, acanthus leaves became a popular motif of Art Nouveau pieces. The embossed design adds a textural contrast to the polished silver of the milk jug and teapot’s spouts and lids.
Walker and Hall was originally established in Sheffield by George Walker in 1845, before partnering with Henry Hall in 1853. As prolific producers of flatware, the company enjoyed considerable success and expanded to London premises before opening stores worldwide. In 1963, the company was merged with Elkington and Mappin & Webb to form British Silverware Ltd., eventually closing in 1971.