Welcome to The London Silver Vaults
Jewels for engagements, anniversaries and special moments
Classic gifts for weddings and silver anniversaries
Silver gifts for the gentleman in your life
Silver cultery for any occasion
Vault 48 & 50
Vaults 2, 4 & 6
Vaults 13 & 15
Vaults 51 & 68
Vaults 13 & 15
Vaults 53 - 55
Vaults 3 & 5
April 16, 2014
Easter 2014 closing at The London Silver Vaults this year will be as follows: we will be closed from Friday 18 April 2014 through Monday 21 April 2014, re-opening 9.00am Tuesday 22 April 2014. Silver egg cups and egg cutters available all year round. We wish you Happy Holidays!
March 12, 2014
Key members of the post-war school of silver design are well represented in the third part of the Silver Vaults’ exhibition of silver for 21st century dining. Names like Gerald Benney, Stuart Devlin, Robert Welch from Britain and Georg Jensen from Scandinavia are among the names feted in the Dressed for Dinner show. Echoing the new streamlined look of the short-lived Art Deco period, the 1950s began several decades of a quite distinctive modern ’look’. These Mid-twentieth century silversmiths took inspiration from changing aesthetics in sculpture, abstract art, modernist architecture and design. New geometric forms were balanced by abstract impressionistic textural surfaces. Lacquering skills were re-developed to bring colour and contrast. A range of additional materials and decorative techniques were explored and incorporated, often from other cultures, to enhance the silver.So from the 20th century we have designs for a thoroughly modern dining area including, enamelled silver cruets and decorative fruit forms, bark – textured goblets, cruets and napkin rings, silver and silver gilt cage work candelabra and chunky cutlery from Scandinavia. Some pieces are from named design houses, others not. Mid-twentieth century silver is a rapidly growing collecting area, as is this period in many areas of design. And it sits well with the pared-down look of today’s interiors.
Dressed for Dinner: Three centuries of fine dining and silver tableware. 24 February to 24 May 2014. Open 9am to 5pm Monday to Friday. Saturdays 9am to 1pm.
March 4, 2014
Dressed for Dinner, the new selling exhibition at the London Silver Vaults, which opened last week, shows the silver that was used for the dinner table by the 18th century Georgians, the 19th century Victorians and by diners in the 20th century. A typical Victorian dinner table is typically an explosion of highly decorated silver with embossed and engraved patterns, borrowing from nature and myth, and grand statement pieces like epergnes.
An epergne was a tall impressive centrepiece carrying fruit or sweets – like the one we have in the Victorian part of the show which was made by the famous Elkington & Co silver manufacturers of the day. For everyday dining ‘à la russe’ – the fashion in the 1850s for having the different courses handed round by the butlers and footmen – there had to be plenty of serving dishes, often with double wall insulation to keep food warm, or entrée dishes that could be stacked. (We have a pair of those). Plus of course, different ladles for sauces, gravy or cream and serving spoons for their blancmanges, jellies and sorbets.
In the 1840s a new method of silver plating was industrialised so the aspirational couples of the day could buy a cheaper alternative to sterling silver and look just as swish to their friends. We have a pair of splendid two-arm candelabra in silver plate in the show.
With ‘à la russe’ dining, the variety of silver cutlery was important. Fish knives and forks made their first appearance and fruit knives and forks arrived on the table together with berry spoons for serving soft fruit and fruit compotes. There is a place setting of cutlery in the show in chased vine pattern from a dessert set for 12 complete with grape scissors and nutcrackers. This pattern was launched at the Great Exhibition of 1851. We also have the popular Victorian design, Queen’s pattern cutlery on display.
Touching food was frowned on in the 19th century so diners were presented with a growing array of specialist eating utensils for particular foods. They had to recognize asparagus tongs, lobster picks, marrow spoons, cheese scoops and grape scissors and know how to use them. We have them all.
Dressed for Dinner: Three centuries of fine dining and silver tableware
24 February to 24 May 2014 9am – 5pm. Saturdays 9am – 1pm.