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
America’s oldest decorative arts program celebrates its 70th anniversary in 2018. Returning to four full days of presentations, the 2018 Colonial Williamsburg Antiques Forum offers the latest findings on furniture, ceramics, textiles, architecture and a host of related topics in a program titled Celebrating the American Spirit.