This exhibit celebrates this noble metal in early Britain and America. Through nearly 250 objects, drawn primarily from Colonial Williamsburg’s collections, silver is considered from its raw state as a mineral ore, as the basis for coinage, and as a precious material for jewelry, trophies, and religious vessels. The creations of famous silversmiths such as Paul de Lamerie, Paul Revere, and Hester Bateman are presented alongside the work of lesser-known but equally talented craftsmen.
Silver objects can celebrate and commemorate, as well as impress and even inspire envy; and because of its inherent value, silver is also faked, altered, and even buried. More than just a presentation of pretty teawares and tankards, Silver from Mine to Masterpiece explores the multi-faceted role of this precious material from the seventeenth to the early nineteenth centuries.
New York, New York, ca. 1835
Epergne with Matching Plateau
London, England, 1742-1743
The Richmond Cup of 1776
London, England, 1776
On view in the Mary Jewett Gaiser Silver Gallery