Vividly illustrated, this is the first comprehensive catalogue of the J. Paul Getty Museum’s celebrated collection of seventeenth- and eighteenth-century French silver.
The collection of seventeenth- and eighteenth-century French silver at the J. Paul Getty Museum is of exceptional quality and state of preservation. Each piece is remarkable for its beauty, inventive form, skillful execution, illustrious provenance, and the renown of its maker. This volume is the first complete study of these exquisite objects, with more than 250 color photographs bringing into focus extraordinary details such as minuscule makers’ marks, inscriptions, and heraldic armorials.
The publication details the formation of the Museum’s collection of French silver, several pieces of which were selected by J. Paul Getty himself, and discusses the regulations of the historic Parisian guild of gold- and silversmiths that set quality controls and consumer protections. Comprehensive entries catalogue a total of thirty-three pieces with descriptions, provenance, exhibition history, and technical information. The related commentaries shed light on the function of these objects and the roles they played in the daily lives of their prosperous owners. The book also includes maker biographies and a full bibliography.
The free online edition of this open-access publication is available at getty.edu/publications/french-silver/ and includes 360-degree views and zoomable high-resolution photography. Also available are free PDF and EPUB downloads of the book, and JPG downloads of the main catalogue images.
The result of nearly two decades of intensive research by Norman Mack and his late wife, Beatrice Davidow Mack, Missouri’s Silver Age: Silversmiths of the 1800s is a comprehensive directory of nineteenth-century Missouri silversmiths, their works, and their identifying makers’ marks. Illustrated with over one hundred photographs, this exceptional reference for historians and silver collectors showcases the Macks’ three-hundred-piece collection of Missouri silver, which includes a representative sample by nearly every known Missouri silversmith and is housed at the Missouri Historical Society in St. Louis.
Featuring more than a hundred detailed biographies of the artisans and apprentices who created handmade silver in St. Louis and Missouri during the nineteenth century, Missouri’s Silver Age also contains extensive photographs of makers’ touchmarks and of the pieces themselves, which include bowls, dishes, spoons, and ladles, as well as other household utensils and decorative items. Arranged alphabetically, the biographies reveal all known details of the business activities and locations of the silversmiths. Collectively, the entries and the illustrations shed light on the growth of enterprise in Missouri, show the impact of the individual on the developing frontier economies of the Midwest, and reveal how the production, acquisition, and possession of material goods reflected the culture and values of Americans during the 1800s.
Mack provides a brief but thorough history of silversmithing in America for novice collectors and historians, detailing the various methods used in making silver and the range of styles that were popular, providing insight into the methods of training apprentices, and explaining the effects of mechanization on the trade. Augmenting this volume are an appendix by Jo Ann Griffin on how to care for old silver, a map of the silversmiths’ primary locations, and a helpful alphabetical appendix of the silversmiths that includes illustrations of their touchmarks.