New books


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Mostly hitherto unpublished, the inventories show the evolving collecting habits and tastes of eighteenth-century patrons across Ireland and how the interiors of great town and country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 historical context.


Lismore Castle, Co. Waterford, 1702/3

Kilkenny Castle, Co. Kilkenny, 1705

Dublin Castle, 1707

The Duke of Ormonde’s House at St James’s Square, London, c. 1710

Bishop’s mansion house, Elphin, Co. Roscommon, 1740

Captain Balfour’s town house, auction sale, Dublin, 1741/2

Hillsborough Castle, Co. Down, 1746 and 1777

Kilrush House, Freshford, Co. Kilkenny, 1750

No. 10 Henrietta Street, Dublin (Luke Gardiner’s house), 1772

Morristown Lattin, Co. Kildare, 1773

Baronscourt, Co. Tyrone, 1782

Castlecomer House, Co. Kilkenny, 1798

Killadoon, Co. Kildare, 1807–29

Shelton Abbey, near Arklow, Co. Wicklow, 1816

Borris House, Co. Carlow, 1818

Carton House, Co. Kildare, 1818

Newbridge House, Co. Dublin, 1821

Mount Stewart, Co. Down, 1821

436 pp., 58 illustrations, 18 in colour
103/4 × 81/8 in. (273 × 206 mm)

ISBN 978-1-898565-17-8
Cloth £75.00

[published on 17 November 2022]

One of a set of four pincushion dishes, c. 1765, maker’s mark of John Laughlin (fl. 1745–75), silver, Mount Stewart, Co. Down (National Trust, Bryan Rutledge)







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

Nutmeg_ Graters, Pomanders and Spice Boxes – 9781788841450 copy



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 of £6 for P&P in UK.

Members can take up the offer by calling the ACC Art Books sales office on 01394 389950 and quoting the code ‘SILVER15’ to Lauren who handles mail orders.

The publisher can also post overseas, but a caller would need to request a quote for that.

Tel: +44 (0) 1394 389950

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

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 the moment for pre-orders (at £13.19).

Mike Adams

Phil Barnes “A Craftsman’s Journey” by Linda Barnes & Gordon Hamme<br>Full colour 130pp; Hardback (Retail £30.00 plus P&P)<br>

<strong>‘’Studies in Irish Georgian Silver</strong>” by Alison Fitzgerald, editor<br>208pp; Full colour; Large format; Hardback. (Retail: €50.00)<br> • +353 1 453 4668

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 Maynooth University. She has published widely on the history of Irish silver, including a monograph, Silver in Georgian Dublin: making, selling, consuming (London, 2016), and an essay in the catalogue Ireland: crossroads of art and design, 1690–1840 (New Haven, 2015).

Pre-publication offer: €45.00 including free postage & packaging

‘’A Marvel to Behold’: Gold and Silver at the Court of Henry VIII”  by Timothy Schroder </strong><br>Boydell Press. ISBN 978 1 78744 849 0. 400 pages; 124 colour illustrations.

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.

“Danish Silver Past and Present: A Danish Private Collection” by Niels Arthur Andersen.  ISBN 978-87-90975-31-9.  Publisher contact <a href=””></a>.  640 pages divided into two volumes covered with beautiful photographs of all 400 objects and delivered in a hard cassette.  £80 plus postage.</strong>

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.

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 words, including over 900 footnotes. Apart from eight chapters, there is a bibliography anda glossary. There are 230 still and moving images.

The book will appear on-line in October 2019 on iBooks (an Apple platform designed to work on iPads). A downloadable version for other platforms (Android/Windows) will be available at a later date from a dedicated website.

Australian Gold and silversmiths Marks</em>” 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

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 the deputy Assay Master details operations and there is also the highly informative three-page annual report of 1924.

This fully indexed and illustrated publication includes an introductory essay on the life and times of silver and gold marking in Australia – as well as discussing the reasons for its demise. The Company ceased operating in 1940.

There has been an overall attempt to reproduce as much of the archival material as possible in its original size. The mood of the original ledger and its contents has been retained.

“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.

“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. info@fourcourtspress.

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 howthe Company adapted to changing circumstances to maintain relevance in the modern era. Granted a royal charter by CharlesI 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 backto the late 12th century. The Company was involved in civic government and several of its members were elected asLord Mayor of Dublin. Perhaps its greatest achievement was, through the Assay Office, guaranteeing the purity and probityof Dublin gold and silver, which is still highly regarded today. Douglas Bennett is a former Master & Clerk of the Companyof Goldsmiths.

“Bradbury’s Book of Hallmarks” </em>(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 itis 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 

“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 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 book <em>“Silver Spoons of Britain 1200 – 1710″ </em>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 Alison Fitzgerald

Published by Routledge and costs £95 from Hodges Figgis in Dublin or on