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So far Maggie has created 65 blog entries.

Silver Lemon Strainers 1686-1846 by Michael Adams

Published as a 290 x 224 mm hardback by Grosvenor House Publishing Ltd on 12th April 2021; 190 pp, 268 images. Available from Amazon, Waterstones and Blackwell’s. Given scant attention in most guides to antique silver and rarely illustrated in pre-internet auction catalogues, lemon strainers (sometimes called orange or punch strainers) are beautiful and very collectable bygones of Georgian England, Ireland, Scotland and America, which have survived to this day in surprising numbers, almost two hundred years after last being used in the preparation of punch. Drawing from a database of nearly 900 examples, the book looks generally at the ways they may have been used, their relative desirabilities and their marks and heraldic devices, and classifies them into different groupings in each of their centres of production, describing each one in detail to show the fascinating diversity and evolution of their bowl piercing patterns and handle shapes. Oddities, including fakes, are included. RRP is £14.99 on special offer at Amazon and Blackwell’s at [Read More]

Silver Lemon Strainers 1686-1846 by Michael Adams2022-09-07T11:39:32+01:00

A Craftsman’s Journey – Phil Barnes

Linda Barnes & Gordon Hamme have collaborated on writing the life story of the world class enameller Phil Barnes. Barnes had always intended to publish an account of life in the workshop not only as a personal history but as an important social history of the jewellery trade. The text includes his written record and information transcribed from a series of interviews he recorded with Gordon for his PhD. Phil Barnes began his enamelling career in 1967, at the age of fifteen, following in his father’s footsteps. He completed his apprenticeship with his father’s company in 1971, winning the coveted Jaques Cartier “Craftsman of the Year” Memorial Award in the same year. He went on to become a working partner in the business and later set up his own workshop in Clapham, London following his father’s retirement in 1983. The book is a record of Phil Barnes’ working life and career, a master in the art of engraving and enamelling, which is richly illustrated [Read More]

A Craftsman’s Journey – Phil Barnes2022-09-07T11:43:36+01:00

Studies in Irish Georgian Silver by Alison Fitzgerald

Irish silver, for long renowned among collectors and connoisseurs, is increasingly being considered as an aspect of the material world of the past. Its making, acquisition and use tells much about past attitudes and behaviour. At the same time, careful examination of surviving articles not only adds to appreciation of the design and craftsmanship but also to Ireland’s participation in international fashions.This volume, with new research by established and emerging scholars from Ireland and the UK, advances the study across a broad range of themes.The contributions examine the circumstances in which silver objects were made, sold, valued and dispersed in Georgian Ireland. It considers specialized branches of the trade including the production of freedom boxes and jewellery, the sourcing of metals and materials, the value of inventories as evidence and regional patterns and preferences. This book builds on recent literature on the history of silver, second-hand markets, guilds and luxury goods, to recover and reconsider Ireland’s silversmithing. Alison FitzGerald is Associate Professor in History at [Read More]

Studies in Irish Georgian Silver by Alison Fitzgerald2022-09-07T11:47:23+01:00

A Marvel to Behold: Gold and Silver at the Court of Henry VIII by Timothy Schroder

By the time of his death, Henry VIII had amassed one of the most spectacular collections of gold and silver of any British monarch. But nearly all of these holdings were destroyed over the following century, and no more than a handful have survived to modern times. This book makes use of the wealth of surviving documentation to explore this lost collection and the light it sheds on the monarchy. For full details please follow this link. This scholarly and lavishly illustrated book is available at £45 or $80. But please consult the publisher’s website for special offers.

A Marvel to Behold: Gold and Silver at the Court of Henry VIII by Timothy Schroder2022-09-07T11:50:11+01:00

Danish Silver Past and Present: A Danish Private Collection by Niels Arthur Andersen.

ISBN 978-87-90975-31-9. Publisher contact adh.vhs@gmail.com. 640 pages divided into two volumes covered with beautiful photographs of all 400 objects and delivered in a hard cassette. £80 plus postage. The book covers an essential part of Niels Arthur Andersen’s private silver collection with particular emphasis on the provenance of each object.  A group of four Danish scientists have written about each of their areas of expertise in silver.  All articles have been translated into English.

Danish Silver Past and Present: A Danish Private Collection by Niels Arthur Andersen.2022-09-09T11:41:52+01:00

Making Form: Contemporary British Fine Metalwork by Kenneth Quickenden and Lee Hewett

Birmingham City University. £5 e-book. This publication critically explores the revival of British fine metalwork by designer-makers since roughly the 1970s. It demonstrates many strengths: the increase in that period in the number of practitioners, the creative use of a wider range of metals, the supplementing of traditional techniques with newer ones, design innovation and a wide range of products, with much emphasis on art objects; all of that, taken together, has transformed the craft. This success has been underpinned by a number of supports: government initiatives, assay offices, livery companies, professional associations, exhibitions and education, though there are increasing concerns about the availability of funding for craft teaching. That, and pressures created by periods of economic difficulty, offer challenges to a craft which is expensive, and raise anxieties about the future. But over the period covered by the book, Britain has re-established fine metalwork and has earned itself a strong international reputation. The book is substantial, scholarly and attractive. It contains roughly 70,000 [Read More]

Making Form: Contemporary British Fine Metalwork by Kenneth Quickenden and Lee Hewett2022-09-07T12:01:30+01:00

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.

Bradbury’s Book of Hallmarks (ed.) Sheffield Assay Office2022-09-07T12:16:57+01:00

Australian Gold and silversmiths Marks by Jolyon Warwick James.

Hardback, 297 x 210 mm, 88 pages, ISBN 978-0-646-99639-4.  £45 (Silver Society members £ 35), Air Mail postage ex Australia £25.  Available from jolyonwjames@gmail.com From the records of the Sydney Hall Mark Co and the Commonwealth of Australia Hall Mark Co, 1923 to 1928. It is not widely known that Australia had a hallmarking system. Reference is briefly made in J.P. de Castro’s work: The Law and practice of Hallmarking Gold and Silver wares and in a few specialised texts on Australian jewellery. Now published, for the first time, is the archival material giving the background to the operations and workings, of Australia’s short-lived hallmarking system, and the marks used by the gold and silversmiths. The archive consists of 43 registration forms, some loose correspondence, and 20 silver plates on which are stamped the maker’s marks. The correspondence is very illuminating. It includes a formal letter to the Commonwealth statistician outlining the Company’s background, formation, name change and marking system. A lengthy letter from [Read More]

Australian Gold and silversmiths Marks by Jolyon Warwick James.2022-09-09T11:42:19+01:00

Georg Jensen: Scandinavian Design for Living. Alison Fisher (ed.)

 Yale University Press, 2018.  £40.  ISBN 978-0300232998. A beautifully illustrated look at how Georg Jensen pushed the boundaries of modern domestic design.  In 1904 Danish silversmith Georg Jensen (1866-1935) founded one of the world’s most celebrated design companies.

Georg Jensen: Scandinavian Design for Living. Alison Fisher (ed.)2022-09-07T12:08:37+01:00


The terms goldsmith and silversmith are in most respects interchangeable, although until the eighteenth century a goldsmith might be someone whose business either wholly or partly involved banking. A silversmith might be a man who made things, or who specialised in one aspect of the craft, or he might be the head of a large workshop effectively managing a business, or he might run a retail shop. Sadly, with very few exceptions, the big name silversmiths are now little known outside those who make a special study of silver. But it was not always so. Until a distinction was drawn between the fine and decorative arts, a silversmith could be considered the equal of any painter or sculptor – and indeed may have been trained in any of these disciplines. There are few monographs devoted to an individual goldsmith, but research for exhibition catalogues and books, particularly those that detail marks, is steadily expanding our knowledge of the lives of many of the most [Read More]



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