Tag: silver

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Hidden Treasures of Berkeley Castle (… and a few not-so-hidden ones)

Berkeley Castle, picture courtesy of Jackie Pennington

One of Britain’s most historic and atmospheric properties, Berkeley Castle, is holding an exhibition throughout September called ‘The Hidden Treasures of Berkeley Castle’. The exhibition shows rarely seen items from the Berkeley family collection, including a beautiful, gold, Saxon ring decorated with dogs’ heads and delicate gold filigree, which has been in the family for […]

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Bicentenary of the Battle of Waterloo


Today marks the bicentenary of the Battle of Waterloo, which was fought on Sunday 18th June 1815, near Waterloo in present-day Belgium. The battle saw Napoleon and his French army defeated by the armies of the Seventh Coalition -comprising of an Anglo-allied army, commanded by the Duke of Wellington, and a Prussian army commanded by Gebhard […]

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Miraculous Silver – The V&A at Kunstkammer Würth

silver-gilt and polished shell,
England or Flanders, c. 1585
h. 25.7 cm

London silver has always been an international art, made and collected by people from around the world. This summer, the enduring love affair with the precious metal will be celebrated with an exhibition in Schwäbisch Hall, Germany. ‘Nature has cradled this town – art has shaped it,’ writer Ricarda Huch (1864-1947) summed up the former […]

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A Royal Christening Gift comes home

Feline Christening Bowl

Visitors to Goodwood House this summer will be surprised to see in the Card Room, nestling amongst the 3rd Duke of Richmond’s collection of Sèvres porcelain, a spectacular silver two handled bowl and cover, framed by Royal heraldic supporters, a rearing lion and unicorn, the cover crowned with the Royal heraldic crest, a standing lion. […]

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Medal Cabinet Appeal – Elizabeth Bisley, Assistant Curator

Elizabeth and the Medal Cabinet

‘This cabinet is an incredibly important example of Napoleonic design, it tells so many stories about design, craftsmanship, politics and luxury in early nineteenth-century France, and would be an amazing addition to our new European galleries.’ In this series of blogs we’re interviewing various members of staff who come in contact with the Napoleonic Medal […]

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Medal Cabinet Appeal – Neide Gentelini, Gallery Assistant

Nei and the Medal Cabinet in the Silver Galleries, Level 3

‘The V&A is the world’s leading museum of art and design; we can safeguard the cabinet and care for it, not just in the short term but for years to come, and ensure that it is on display for everyone to see.’ In this series of blogs we’re interviewing various members of staff who come […]

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Help Save This Cabinet for the Nation!

As you will have seen if you’ve visited the Silver Galleries lately, we have just launched an urgent new appeal trying to raise the £534,000 needed to save this incredibly rare and important medal cabinet from export. The cabinet was made in around 1810, for someone in the circle of the Emperor Napoleon. Stunning in […]

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Making Silver Sculpture for the Victorian Home

The V&A has the largest collection of metal casting models for silver sculpture in the world. Over the last year these models have been giving up their secrets to staff researching their manufacture and design. Staff examining metal patterns for “High Life”, originally modelled by Louis Victor Fréret in c.1860. © Victoria and Albert Museum, […]

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Twenty Objects for Twenty Years: The Ramsey Abbey Censer and Incense Boat

The Ramsey Abbey Incense Boat and Censer, England, Silver and Silver Gilt, Medieval and Renaissance, room 10, case 13, Muse ref: M.269-1923 and M.268-1923 © Victoria and Albert Museum, London The silver-gilt censer and incense boat, exhibited side by side in the Medieval and Renaissance Galleries, are extremely rare survivals of 14th-century English, ecclesiastical, goldsmiths’ […]

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Ooh, Shiny

One of the fascinating things about design drawings, at least to me, is that you often can’t tell whether they are for presentation, for working out a design concept, or just recording an object once it’s finished. Sometimes, perhaps, there is a bit of all three going on. The confusion really sets in when you see aesthetic touches on what you would otherwise expect to be a ‘working sketch.’ For whose benefit has the drawing been prettied up? Maybe the draftsman was taking pride in the work. Maybe there was an internal politics in play, where the designer wants the …

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