Silverware design themes

The human body

The human figure was a popular source of inspiration for silverware, and silversmiths explored a great range of different body types to adorn various objects.

Looking good

Silver has always been used to impress, whether at home or in public displays of wealth or power. How people used it in order to look good varied greatly.

Feeling fine

Silver has always been used in the pursuit of good health. Silversmiths made containers for medicine, amulets to ward off evil spirits and mounts for cups carved from materials simply believed to make you feel good.

Tea, coffee & chocolate

The arrival of non-alcoholic hot drinks in England sparked major changes in the way people socialised. A whole series of intricate ceremonies sprang up around the drinking of tea, coffee and chocolate, with accessories to match.

Fun & games

Not all silver objects were for serious purposes. Silver could be used just as effectively to reflect sporting success, challenge others at drinking games or to make toys for children.

Wildlife

Nature has always been a great source of inspiration for designers. Animal depictions in silver range from mortally wounded horses falling in dramatic battle scenes to novelty drinking cups in the shape of birds, bears and cows.

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Surreal Things: Surrealism and Design

Surreal Things: Surrealism and Design

Surrealism was one of the most influential movements of the 20th century and had a profound impact on all forms of culture. It was a philosophy and a …

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A gift in your will

You may not have thought of including a gift to a museum in your will, but the V&A is a charity and legacies form an important source of funding for our work. It is not just the great collectors and the wealthy who leave legacies to the V&A. Legacies of all sizes, large and small, make a real difference to what we can do and your support can help ensure that future generations enjoy the V&A as much as you have.

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Event - From Rococo to Art Nouveau: 1720-1900. 14/15

Thu 25 September 2014–Thu 09 July 2015

YEAR COURSE: Gain a unique perspective on one of the most dynamic periods in the history of European art. Consider the relationship between the visual arts and
the wider political and cultural context of the period and explore themes such as taste, patronage and the art market.

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