Rebecca de Quin (born 1958)

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‘Blackwell Series’ Two vases


Two fabricated vases in sterling silver, one highly polished, both with oxidised interior; patinated copper panels scored and folded with industrial press tool. Height 29.3 and 15.7 cm. Marked: Rebecca de Quin, London on silver vessels.

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Changes in the hallmarking regulations in 2007 shortly before these pieces were commissioned allowed for the combination of base and precious metals to make functional objects which merge with sculpture—pieces with a new concept and feel to them. The stark forms in these pieces evoke nature reclaiming abandoned industrial sites such as chimneys and factories. The fabricated silver vases with oxidised interior are separate elements which slide into place within copper patinated panels which have been scored and folded using an industrial press tool. The brightness of silver is heightened by the varied colours of the darker patinated copper which enfolds it. A surreal “Intimate social landscape of the table” is created which invites handling and playful interaction with the pieces. 

De Quin is a conceptual metalsmith who draws inspiration from the work of her father, constructivist sculptor Robert de Quin, as well as the Modernist architect Le Corbusier and the Cubist painter, Amedée Ozanfant. She studied 3D design with Alistair McCallum at Middlesex Polytechnic before undertaking an MA at the RCA, taught by David Watkins and Michael Rowe. She has since taught at the RCA herself from 1998, combining her teaching with her practice as a silversmith. She says of her work: “My work is designed to encourage use and enjoyment of precious and non-precious metals and to question common perceptions of both silver as a contemporary material and the vessel as an evolving form.”


This video shows Rebecca de Quin hand-forging a silver spoon. The video was made in 2018 for the Company’s touring exhibition on contemporary dining silver, Made For The Table, which included a seven-piece set of cutlery in sterling silver made by Rebecca de Quin in its table layout. “Spoons are still made in the same way that they were made hundreds of years ago…you’re engaging in this historic process.”