Silver has been used throughout history for ritual and royal occasions, for eating and drinking, for rites of passage and personal adornment. This book offers a fresh perspective on historic silver, now highly prized by collectors, following the story in words and pictures from the middle ages right up to the present day.
Double page features show silver in many different contexts: from laying the table, drinking customs and rituals, women and silver, to design and the techniques of making and embellishing this beautiful and virtually indestructible metal.
The myth of the “marker` s mark” is unravelled, challenging a century of silver studies, and a synthesis of the latest discoveries from X-ray and scientific analysis and from documentary research is set out in a lively and accessible text, carefully interwoven with images. The rich visual material, much of it drawn from the Victoria and Albert Museum` s unrivalled collections and published here for the first time, includes paintings, designs from the 16th centuries, trade cards, cartoons and historic photographs.
Sections on how to identify fakes and forgeries, silver substitutes, how to clean and care for silver, hoe to read hallmarks, where to see silver and a comprehensive list of books on silver make this an unusual and attractive guide for connoisseurs, collectors, social historians and all lovers of this fascinating historic metal.