This unique collection of beautiful and intriguing objects, more than 700 pieces of British and European silver, was put together over forty years by a discerning English enthusiast. It is striking for its great variety of types, the five centuries represented and the widespread places of making, from Finland to Italy, offering an unparalleled overview of design and technique, as well as a social history of silver for eating, drinking, around the house and as accessories to daily life.
Selected with a keen eye for their excellent condition, their historical interest, and their inherent quality, most objects are of museum standard, although no single museum holds so many examples of flatware, from England and France and drinking vessels from Spain, Germany, France and Britain, of such diverse designs and dates. Tableware ranges in scale and date from a bread basket by Paul Crespin to an elegant modern caviar spoon. Great names from the story of English silver are present, from Paul Storr and the royal goldsmiths Robert Garrard, Philip Rundell and Benjamin Pyne, to leading Huguenots, such as John Hugh le Sage, David Willaume and Edward Feline.
Each object has been catalogued and specially photographed, often with details, for this publication, making it a significant work of reference, as well as a handsome record of the ingenious art of the silversmith. Grouped by their purpose, each section is introduced with a brief summary of social and design history and supplementary illustrations such as the sources for engraving.
The attractively produced book is in excellent unmarked "as new" condition. The jacket has only light general marks evident in the dark areas of the cover and small creases to spine corners. The 750 photographs have been taken by the distinguished art photographer Clarissa Bruce.