News and Events



Until 30th June 2019
Maqdala 1868, A Reflection on the 1868 siege and battle at Maqdala

Exploring a selection of Ethiopian objects in the V&A
’s collection. The display highlights the craftsmanship 
and beauty of the Maqdala treasures within the context
 of the collection’s complex history. V&A Museum,
 London. Until 30th June 2019, Silver, Room 66, Free.


Until Sunday 28th July 2019
Christopher Dresser: Pioneer of Modern Design

Christopher Dresser (1834–1904) designed products that were radical in their time and still look contemporary today. He is thought of as the first independent industrial designer and is recognised as a pioneer of modern product design. This display showcases a selection of Dresser’s work, including innovative and striking homeware products, designs and photographs. Millennium Gallery, Arundel Gate, Sheffield, S1 2PP. Free




30 April – 11 July 2019
Inscribed: The Craft of Cutting Letters

As part of London Craft Week, the Hand Engravers Association partnering with the Goldsmiths’ Centre and Lettering Arts Trust will showcase the skills of apprentice and professional hand engravers.  For further information:


Mid-April to Early October 2019
Precious Little Gems

By Daisy Overton Lee and Francisca Onumah, two of the current participants in the Starter Studio Programme for Designer Silversmiths & Jewellers, based at Yorkshire Artspace, Persistence Works, Sheffield. Their new silver pieces commissioned by Sheffield Assay Office will go on display from mid-April until early October, Millennium Gallery, Arundel Gate Sheffield, S1 2PP. Free


12th to 14th July 2019
Goldsmiths North

An international summer selling fair bringing the finest contemporary Silverware & Jewellery to the North of England, hosted in the magnificent Cutlers’ Hall in the heart of Sheffield. Visitors to the Fair will have the opportunity to meet and buy from independent makers from all over the UK. 12th -14th July 2019, Cutlers’ Hall, Sheffield, 10am to 5pm daily. For more information visit: It is the intention of the Silver Society to make a group visit to the Fair and to incorporate another place of interest in the north. Details will be circulated to members and made available on the website in due course.

Overseas Events


12th July – 31st October 2019 (Germany)
Gold and Silver Jewellery and vessels created by Ulla and Martin Kaufmann

Pforzheim Jewellery Museum, Jahnstrasse 42, 75173 Pforzheim, Germany.


Until 1st October 2019 (America)

A Changing Reflection: Silver, Metalwork, and Jewelry in the 19th–21st


Until 1st December 2019 (America)
Gorham Silver: Designing Brilliance 1850-1970

Commissioned to create everything from public presentation pieces to one-of-a-kind showstoppers for use in the private dining rooms of America, Gorham put uniquely American design on the world stage. Silver and mixed-metal wares produced from 1850 to 1970 by Gorham reflected the industry, artistry, innovation, and technology of its time for more than 150 years in America. Designing Brilliance will cast new light on the
legacy of this distinctive company, first established in 1831
in Providence, Rhode Island. The RISD Museum owns the largest collection of objects by this silver maker and Designing Brilliance is the first Gorham exhibition in nearly three decades. Admission charges apply, RISD Museum, Chace
 Center, 20 N Main St, Providence, RI 02903


Temporary Exhibition (Ireland)
21st Century Irish Craft

This exhibition showcases examples of the best of
Irish ceramics, glass, furniture, wood turning, jewellery, accessories and silverware. The exhibition, 21st Century Irish Craft, showcases contemporary Irish material in the national collection. Sun-Mon: 1pm - 5pm, Tues - Sat: 10am - 5pm. Free. National Museum of Ireland, Decorative Arts & History, Collins Barracks, First Floor, South Block, Benburb St, Dublin, D07 HW61

New books


“The Museum and the Factory; The V&A, Elkington and the Electrical Revolution” by Alistair Grant and Angus Patterson. ISBN 9781848222915, 160pp, hardback, £30.00

The book reveals a great untold story of enterprise and innovation based on the relationship between the Victoria and Albert Museum and Elkington & Co. Elkington played a crucial role in shaping and building the V&A’s permanent collection from its foundations in 1852 until the First World War . The great success of their relationship cemented both the museum’s status as a leading cultural institution and the Elkington & Co makers’ mark as one of the world’s first truly multinational designer brands.


“The Goldsmiths of Dublin, Six Centuries of
 Achievement” by Douglas Bennett
. ISBN 9780950548869, 106pp, full colour, hardback, €25.00 available from Four Courts Press, 7
 Malpas Street, Dublin 8, Ireland.
The history of Dublin’s goldsmiths is described in this important book, which charts the history of the Dublin Company of Goldsmiths from the Middle Ages to the present. It demonstrates the close link between the guild and the city and shows how
the Company adapted to changing circumstances to maintain relevance in the modern era. Granted a royal charter by Charles
I in 1637, the Company is the only survivor of the Dublin trade guilds. It has however a much longer and earlier history as the Goldsmiths’ guild took part in the late 15th century Corpus Christi pageant and goldsmiths are recorded in Dublin back
to the late 12th century. The Company was involved in civic government and several of its members were elected as
Lord Mayor of Dublin. Perhaps its greatest achievement was, through the Assay Office, guaranteeing the purity and probity
of Dublin gold and silver, which is still highly regarded today. Douglas Bennett is a former Master & Clerk of the Company
of Goldsmiths.


"Bradbury’s Book of Hallmarks" (ed.) Sheffield Assay Office. ISBN 9781872212098. 36th Edition.

£25.00 for the special edition and £15.00 for the standard edition (plus £3.00 postage and packing per book). Discounts are available on orders over 100 copies. A donation from the sale of each book will go to Mary Parsons Charity for retired silversmiths.

This new edition marks the 245th anniversary of the Sheffield Assay Office. This unique little pocket-sized reference book is of great value, providing you with the marks of origin on English, Scottish and Irish silver, gold, platinum and palladium, and on foreign imported silver and gold plate. There are updates on the amendments to the Hallmarking Act 1973. It also includes details of further marks that appear on precious metals until 2023.

To obtain a copy, please ring 01142 318152, Click to Email, or write to the Editor and Publisher, Sheffield Assay Office, Guardians’ Hall, Beulah Road, Hillsborough, S6 2AN.


"Stuart Devlin: Designer Goldsmith Silversmith", edited by Carole Devlin and Victoria Kate Simkin, ISBN 9781851498727, Hardback Publisher ACC Art Books, Pages: 528, £75.00

Stuart Devlin was a pioneer goldsmith who rejected the anonymity of corporate design during the 1960s.

He adapted old techniques and devised many new ones. His commissions include those for the Royal Households, cathedrals, the armed forces, sport and universities, as well as abundant private commissions. He is also a coin and medal designer. Australian born, recognition came to Devlin after designing the Australian decimal coinage in 1963. He has since designed coins for more than 30 countries. Also shown are numerous sketches and working drawings and many collectors will recognise pieces that they originally commissioned or have bought. Although it
 has been impossible to encompass everything ever designed
 or produced by Devlin, the book highlights how remarkable it
is that this wealth of ideas was conceived by just one man.


“Laurent Amiot. Canadian Master Silversmith” by René Villeneuve in partnership with the National Gallery of Canada.

During the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, the making of silver objects was a major creative practice. Among the silversmiths working during the period Laurent Amiot is notable for his reputation in the field and the scale of his production.

 This book accompanies the exhibition that starts in May.

“Artists spoons & related table cutlery, A British History of Arts & Crafts Flatware” by Simon Moore
This long awaited opus is now available. It includes newly researched information and beautiful illustrations. The book portrays the not so humble spoon and how it was affected by this amazing era of new taste, artistry and elegance.
Available from at £60 (£50 to Silver Society members)

“Silver for Entertaining: the Ickworth Collection” by James Rothwell
One of the most important collections of eighteenth-century silver in Europe is to be found at Ickworth House in Suffolk. James Rothwell, the National Trust's adviser on silver, has undertaken a comprehensive study of the collection and the results are published this lavishly illustrated book. For full details and to order please go to 

“English Silver before the Civil War – The David Little Collection” by Dr Timothy Schroder
“A fascinating new book that uses one man’s collection to examine the social history of domestic silver from the Tudor and Early Stuart eras” Roland Arkell, Antiques Trade Gazette
For full details and to order please go to 

David Constable’s new book “Silver Spoons of Britain 1200 – 1710" was launched in September 2016
It is the history of the silver spoons of England, Scotland and Ireland chronologically by type from 1200 to 1710. There are approximately 2,260 images and 145,000 words, creating a complete reference of early spoons and their makers. Please visit David’s website to order it: There is also a special deal on his first book “The Benson Collection of Early English Spoons”.

“Silver in Georgian Dublin: Making, Selling, Consuming” by Dr Alison Fitzgerald
Published by Routledge and costs £95 from Hodges Figgis in Dublin or on

Silversmithing Prize

The Silver Society “Best Young Silversmith” award 2017 at “Inspired”

Many congratulations to the 2017 prizewinner, Patrick Davison for his seven sided silver chalice and his two boxes of mixed metal. Arthur Drysdale and Jeffrey Lassaline were the judges. Please follow this link for photographs and an article by Arthur.

Silver Menu Holders

A comprehensive article on Silver Menu Holders by Professor Salter


Press Release


House of Barnard   by John P. Fallon

Boudoir Labels 1753-1965   by John Salter

Bertrand’s Toyshop in Bath: Luxury Retailing 1685-1765 by Vanessa Brett

Art in Industry – the silver of Paul Storr by Christopher Hartop

Designer British Silver – from studios established 1930 – 1985 by John Andrew & Derek Styles