Les Poinçons Français des Métaux Précieux de 1789 à ce Jour. Following the interest aroused by the chapter on hallmarks in his book Traditional French Jewellery (2021) Michael Fieggen has continued his research into this field and has now published a complete guide to all 276 French hallmarks used from 1789 to the present day. The book is illustrated with original drawings, each of which has been checked against the actual hallmarks, and in most cases a photograph of the mark is also included. The dates of the introduction of the marks and when they were withdrawn have also been carefully researched: until now such dates as were published were based on the dates of the hallmarking legislation but archival research has revealed that some marks were not used until later or were withdrawn earlier than was believed. The book contains a list of all the assay office marks included within French hallmarks that facilitate identification of the place of origin of both silverware [Read More]
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Fourteen entries were received for the annual Silver Society Silversmithing Prize this year, which was judged by the eminent Silversmith Ray Walton and Curator Emma Paragreen. The entries included a broad range of functional and sculptural work of a high calibre from all over the UK. The winner this year was Katie Watson with her outstanding, hand-formed ‘Spring Hare’ sterling silver dish. Katie wins £1000 and ECSG membership. Katie is currently based at Marchmont in the Scottish Borders, where she found inspiration for the piece among the grassy hills and in the abundance of hares running about in the fields. The judges were particularly impressed with the beautiful and detailed chasing, the lovely representation of animals and landscape, the proportions, and the craftsmanship that she demonstrated with her silver and gemstone dish decorated with 24ct Keum Boo foil. They also noted the subtle placement of the hallmarks and applauded her dedication to the process and the development of her technique since winning runnner-up in [Read More]
(International Event) The DIVA Museum (Antwerp) will be hosting a book launch on Friday 1 December for a new publication by the silver specialist, Anne-Marie Claessens-Peré. The book, Antwerp Gold and Silver Marks 1456-1798 (Antwerpse goud- en zilvermerken 1456-1798) is the first systematic overview of city seals, year marks and master marks used in Antwerp between 1456 and 1798. Published in Dutch by the DIVA museum in cooperation with the non-profit Academy for the History of Goldsmith Art in Belgium, the book contains several firsts such as new identifications and the discovery of Antwerp objects dating from the 16th century in foreign institutions. The book will be on sale in the museum shop from 1 December at €59 The speeches during the book launch will be in Dutch, but most attendees also speak English so English speakers are welcome. Programme: 16.00: Doors open 16.15: Welcome Ann Kaethoven, Director ad interim DIVA 16.20: Speech Marc Meeùs, President Academie voor de Geschiedenis van de Edelsmeedkunst in [Read More]
The Goldsmiths' Company has recently launched an online library catalogue for The Goldsmiths’ Company Library. The Library’s holdings include many resources on silver and silversmithing from ancient times to the present day, as well as a wide selection of books on hallmarking and jewellery. The catalogue link can be accessed from the Library and Archives page on the Goldsmiths’ Company website www.thegoldsmiths.co.uk. For those accessing the newsletter online, please click here to go directly to the catalogue. All researchers are welcome and do not need to be members to visit the Library. It is open Tuesday to Thursday, from 10am to 4.30pm, by appointment. Reader appointments can be made by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org . The catalogue currently holds around 5,600 records, roughly a third of the Goldsmith Company Library's books and articles, but material is being added to it all the time, so if the book or article you’re looking for isn’t listed, you can check whether the Library holds it it by sending an [Read More]
The collection of 18th- and early-19th-century French silverware acquired by Calouste Sarkis Gulbenkian between 1900 and 1950 is the most important of its time and one of the most significant sections of the Gulbenkian Museum’s collection. The collection of over 150 pieces constitutes a unique group due to their diversity and quality; it includes several world-class masterpieces representative of Gulbenkian’s taste. The catalogue is dedicated to a selection of works in silver of different typologies, such as centrepieces, tureens, salt cellars, candelabra and candlesticks, made by renowned silversmiths including François- Thomas Germain, Antoine-Sébastien Durant, Robert-Joseph Auguste and Martin-Guillaume Biennais. Despite this diversity these works all share the characteristics that make this collection unique: quality and authenticity combined with original design, technical expertise and distinguished provenance; former owners include members of the European aristocracy and the Russian imperial family. Most of the works were purchased in Paris but there is an important group of works from the Hermitage collection, acquired following negotiations between Calouste Gulbenkian [Read More]
Entries are now closed for The Silver Society Prize for Silversmithing 2023. The competition will be judged by an expert panel and the winner will be announced on Monday 30 October 2023 at the Goldsmiths’ Centre in London when they will receive a cash prize of £1,000. The winning piece and a profile of its maker will be included in the 2023 Silver Society Journal. Image: Scream box by Caiyang Yin, winner of the Silver Society Prize 2022
For anyone wishing to add a little silver-related fiction to their reading list, this post features a running list of suggestions. Do get in touch if you have any recommendations or would like to see your novel featured! Argentum by James Leslie-Melville (The Book Guild, 2023) The Silversmith's Daughter by Annie Murray (Pan, 2019) The Silversmith's Wife by Sophia Tobin (Simon & Schuster, 2014)