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).
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