We are very please to announce the winner is CAIYANG YIN for his Scream Box The Scream Box, made in fine silver and sterling silver and marked for 2022, is the first piece of silverware, as opposed to jewellery, that Caiyang has made. The cover of the handmade box involved chasing and repoussé work. Scream Box by Caiyang Yin The judges said: we were very impressed with Caiyang’s silver Scream Box, it is a very contemporary design and it has great originality. The square silver box decorated with a man’s emotional face, has a highly sculptural aesthetic and demonstrates a unique style. To make a square box is one of the most basic silversmithing skills, but it is challenging to achieve, requiring great accuracy and control. Caiyang’s box is very professionally made and extremely well finished. The box can be seen in this video https://youtu.be/vxPH8faCj0Q and other examples of Caiyang’s work can be seen on his website https://www.ycyjewel.com/ Caiyang, who trained in the design [Read More]
6 October 2022 Despite complications caused by rail strikes, a small group made it to Mount Stuart, the extraordinary house designed for the 3rd Marquess of Bute by Robert Rowand Anderson, the interiors of which were in fact never completed after the death of the Marquess. The morning was taken up with a tour of the house, with its views across the Clyde although somewhat shrouded in rain clouds, with its myriad interior details such as the door furniture, light fittings and tapestries, as well as a fine display of Scottish eighteenth-century silver in the dining room. The interiors were enhanced at a later date by carefully considered additions to some of the decorative schemes made by 6th Marquess of Bute. Cover of Lord Bute’s water bottle, London, 1880, by Jess Barkentin and Carl Krall, silver-gilt and enamel In the afternoon we were given a tour by Jessica Insley, Curator of the collections, of the small but remarkable exhibition Fantasy to Fabrication, 19th [Read More]
The visit was attended by seventeen members. On arrival at the Hall we were greeted by the Beadle, who gave us an introduction to the history of the Company and some of its treasures. Following the Civil War and the Fire of London which destroyed the first Hall, the Company embarked on a policy of replacing silver which had been sequestered during the Civil War and those pieces destroyed in the fire by purchasing silver and encouraging their members to donate plate to the Company. We were able to handle a large number of wonderful 18th and 19th century objects. A modern highlight included a most unusual silver fair ground centre piece with eight horses which turns on a smooth axis, commissioned in 1989 by the Master from Sarah Silver.
Adi Toch, in conversation with Jessica Eddie, gave a fascinating insight into her working processes during the commissioning, designing and making of the gold piece, Place to Place, made for the Gilbert Collection at the V&A, in response to the return to Turkey, in 2021, of an Anatolian gold ewer.
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 https://shop.getty.edu/ The offer is available from I January to 30 April 2023 Rest [Read More]
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]
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]
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]
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
For this year’s edition of Elements we were delighted to welcome back, in conjunction with the Incorporation of Goldsmiths, silversmiths and jewellers from all over the country in person from as far north as Shetland to Cornwall. Now in its 8th year, the saleroom in Edinburgh teamed recent Scottish college graduates with industry stalwarts all able to discuss their making processes and to sell their products. Traditional working practices are still a key element within many silversmiths’ making processes. Annabel Hood and Katie Watson include hand engraving to create visually appealing surface decorations: Watson uses engraving to create imaginative illustrations of lively creatures and scenes from nature whilst Hood uses the technique to engage the mind of the viewer and allude to her inspiration from climate change. Echoes from nature also combine with tradition in Scott Smith’s work; he uses carving, raising and casting of wood chips found in his studio, in a meditative way to create his silverware, which is inspired by the wild [Read More]