8 1/2 x 7 3/8 x 4 1/2 in. (21.6 x 18.7 x 11.4 cm)
(active 1720 - 1767)
Medium and Support:
Silver and ivory
Bequest of Mrs. Edith H. Woodward
Location: Currently on view
In 18th-century Britain, sterling silver was the “coinage of the realm,” and literally worth its weight. The ownership of silver goods, however, was more than a display of wealth; it was also an expression of a patron’s taste, education, and power. The government recognized the importance of the silversmiths’ trade to the economy, and closely monitored the quality and hierarchy of British artisans through requirements for silver weights and hallmarks. Their wide variety of goods found markets at the royal court, among a growing professional and merchant class, and through expanding international trade.
Quality British silver of this period has long been a favorite of private collectors. The majority of MAG’s collection of continental and English silver comes from the Woodward family, who donated over 70 pieces in the 1950s.
[Label text from It Came From the Vault exhibition, 2013]