Cash in the attic: Newlyn copper

Due to a downturn in the income provided by fishing in Cornwall, unemployed fishermen were trained to produce works in copper - a commonly-found Cornish asset - which they could then sell.

Unemployed fishermen were trained to produce works in copper

In 1890, John McKenzie founded the Newlyn Industrial Class and invited artists and designers to collaborate with him. Newlyn is next to Penzance in Cornwall. Functional domestic items such as dishes, frames and trays were produced with repoussé designs - a metal-working technique - often of marine subjects, in the Arts & Crafts or Art Nouveau styles.

John Pearson was a mastercraftsman at Newlyn and this copper bowl by him is valued at £1,500 to £2,000. Newlyn copper is highly sought after today.

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