The French Silverware in the Calouste Gulbenkian Collection – by Peter Fuhring

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]

The French Silverware in the Calouste Gulbenkian Collection – by Peter Fuhring2023-06-30T10:48:37+01:00

Novel Ideas: A selection of fiction titles on the theme of silver

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)

Novel Ideas: A selection of fiction titles on the theme of silver2023-03-07T22:13:00+00:00

Touchstone, Trade & Transgression – By Robert Grice

This hardback informative reference book is for those interested in fraud relating to silverware and precious metals, and tells the story of the enforcement of hallmarking legislation. The story of hallmarking is told from a unique perspective, through historical facts, literature, poetry, prose, film, and song. The book is comprised of: 628 pages. 149 photographs. a schedule of historical milestones regarding hallmarking. detailed coverage of some specific prosecution cases. a comprehensive index of more than 600 court cases. The book is £35 and the link to their website is

Touchstone, Trade & Transgression – By Robert Grice2023-02-08T10:36:03+00:00

French Silver In The J. Paul Getty Museum

CHARISSA BREMER-DAVID, JESSICA CHASEN, ARLEN HEGINBOTHAM, JULIE WOLFE Published by Getty Publications and Yale University Press, paperback, ISBN: 9781606068281 216 pp, 277 colour illustrations and 4 tables Publication date: April 2023 Members of the Silver Society have been offered a generous discount of 20% on the publication price on the above publication, the first complete study of the French seventeenth- and eighteenth-century silver at the J. Paul Getty Museum, to be published in April 2023. With the generous number of images each piece in the collection will be brought into focus in extraordinary detail including makers’ marks, inscriptions and armorials.  The entries catalogue a total of thirty-three pieces and give descriptions, provenance, exhibition history and technical information and the publication also discusses the formation of the collection.  There are biographies of the makers and a full bibliography. Copies may be ordered using the following codes and links: US and Canada: GPFS23 The offer is available from I January to 30 April 2023 Rest [Read More]

French Silver In The J. Paul Getty Museum2023-02-08T10:02:52+00:00

Exhibition Catalogue of Prediger Museum

Museum im Prediger, Schwäbisch Gmünd 23 October 2022 – 10 April 2023 (Catalogue in German and English, Euros 39, editor Max Tillmann ISBN 978-3936988-39-0) The exhibition celebrates the centenary of the Research Institute for Precious Metals & Metal Chemistry (Forschungsinstitut Edelmetalle & Metallchemie) (FEM) in Schwäbische Gmünd in 1922 and its successful collaboration with the city’s kunstgewerbermuseum (now the Prediger Museum), founded in 1876 to collect models for the city’s thriving goldsmiths’ trade, and the regional gewerbeschule or trade school, specialising in precious metals, in 1860. Over 80 works of art are displayed in different contexts. There are masterpieces from the Prediger’s own permanent and long-term loan collection (including the 6ft high Immaculate Conception by Franz Anton Lang (Augsburg, 1755) from the Holy Cross Minster) as well as productions by Gmund craftsmen. Thematic displays follow, with juxtapositions illustrating forms, techniques, decoration, and finishes, discussed in aesthetic and technical contexts. Effects of colour, light and shade are all explored. The work of FEM in developing [Read More]

Exhibition Catalogue of Prediger Museum2023-02-08T13:28:53+00:00

How did our Garden grow? The History of Hatton Garden.

The great and the good of London’s jewellery trade gathered last month in the Crypt of St Etheldreda’s Church in Ely Place for the launch of a brand-new book on the history of Hatton Garden. It is very rare for so many people representing every aspect of the industry to be in one place: The Clerk of the Worshipful Company of Goldsmiths, Sir David Reddaway, the Treasurer of the London Diamond Bourse, David Roffe, Alan Hart, CEO of Gem-A, and other prominent representatives from De Beers, Goldsmiths Centre, Society of Jewellery Historians, Institute of Professional Goldsmiths, National Association of Jewellers among others. In all there were over 70 guests. Moreover, among the distinguished guests was Kurt Eichner, a survivor of the ‘Kinder Transport’ children who escaped Nazi Europe during the war, whose story is told in the book. St Etheldreda’s was completed in 1290 and was a very appropriate setting for such an event. It was originally part of the Palace of the Bishops [Read More]

How did our Garden grow? The History of Hatton Garden.2023-02-06T09:53:51+00:00

Great Irish Households

GREAT IRISH HOUSEHOLDS Inventories from the Long Eighteenth Century The value of inventories in charting how houses were arranged, furnished and used is now widely appreciated. Typically, the listings and valuations were occasioned by the death of an owner and the consequent need to deal with testamentary dispositions. That was not always so. The inventory for Castlecomer House, Co. Kilkenny, for example, was drawn up to make a claim following the house’s devastation in the 1798 uprising. Mostly hitherto unpublished, the inventories show the evolving collecting habits and tastes of eighteenth-century patrons across Ireland and how the interiors of great town and country houses were arranged or responded to new materials and new ideas. Among the houses where silver is listed are Baronscourt, Castlecomer House, Dublin Castle (2nd Duke of Ormonde’s plate), Mount Stewart and Newbridge House. A comprehensive index facilitates access to the myriad items, including the silver, within the inventories. A foreword, together with preambles to the inventories, sets the households in their [Read More]

Great Irish Households2023-02-06T09:52:32+00:00

Nutmeg: Graters, Pomanders and Spice Boxes

John Reckless has held a long-standing interest in antique kitchenalia. His fascination with nutmeg paraphernalia was spurred by the discovery of a cast iron mechanical grater about three decades ago. Collecting and researching nutmeg and graters has given Reckless the opportunity to delve deeper into areas of social and historical interest. Nutmeg: Graters, Pomanders and Spice Boxes Luxury and utility from the 16th century to the present day John Reckless ISBN Publisher Binding Territory Size Pages Price 9781788841450 ACC Art Books Hardback World 300 mm x 237 mm 312 Pages £50.00 Nutmeg_ Graters, Pomanders and Spice Boxes – 9781788841450 copy

Nutmeg: Graters, Pomanders and Spice Boxes2023-02-06T09:50:19+00:00

Contemporary Bristish Silver Designers

Authors: John L. Davis & Gordon Hamme This book brings together two expansive collections of silver objects, the ‘Lion’ collection and the ‘Hamme’ collection. The ‘Lion’ collection provides a broad overview of beautiful silver objects made by a great variety of British contemporary silversmiths. It is divided between holloware, caddy spoons and napkin rings. Part of the collection revolves around the theme of lions, because the lion image bears a resemblance to the collector’s family history. The Hamme collection is a spectacular array of ‘hero’ pieces and commissions that demonstrate some of the best of each silversmith’s work. With more than 500 images, Contemporary British Silver Designers shares some of the finest work crafted by 21st- century silversmiths. Over 500 illustrated examples of the best of modern silver design Contains interviews with several top contemporary silver designers Foreword by Alastair Dickenson, Introduction by John Andrews. The publisher has offered 35% discount off the RRP (making it £29.25 to Silver Society members). There is a charge [Read More]

Contemporary Bristish Silver Designers2022-09-09T11:49:07+01:00

Europe Divided: Huguenot Refugee Art and Culture

Author: Tessa Murdoch This richly illustrated book focuses on the extraordinary international networks resulting from the diaspora of more than 200,000 refugees who left France in the late 17th century to join communities already in exile spread far and wide. First-generation Huguenot refugees included hundreds of trained artists, designers, and craftsmen. Beyond the French borders, they raised the quality of design and workshop practice, passing on skills to their apprentices; sons, godsons, cousins, and to successive generations, who continued to dominate output in the luxury trades. Although silver and silks are the best-known fields with which Huguenot settlers are associated, their significant contribution to architecture, ceramics, design, clock and watchmaking, engraving, furniture, woodwork, sculpture, portraiture, and art education provides fascinating insight into the motivation and resolve of this highly skilled diaspora. Thanks to a sophisticated network of Huguenot merchants, retailers, and bankers who financed their production, their wares reached a global market. PAGES 320.  DIMENSIONS 24.46cm x 28.58cm. ISBN. 9781838510121  PRODUCT CODE. 162456 Discount to V&A members

Europe Divided: Huguenot Refugee Art and Culture2022-09-07T11:37:33+01:00


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