Silver Dinnerware Georgian-style at London Silver Vaults
The new selling exhibition at the London Silver Vaults which opened last week showcases the finest silver dinnerware from three centuries. The C18th, C19th and C20th. Called Dressed for Dinner it presents the very best silver accessories for dining at home – in the kitchen, in the dining room or in your super-room.
The Georgians dined ‘a la Francaise’ which meant all the courses were brought to the table at once and the diners helped themselves. For this you needed lots of serving dishes, sauceboats, cutlery, cruet and wine and water jugs.
The oldest pieces of Georgian silver we have on display are a pair of sauce boats by William Cripps hallmarked 1754. From Hester Bateman, the famous C18th London silversmith, we have a wine funnel (wine was decanted from barrels) and a neo classical basket for sweets. On a larger scale there is a very splendid soup tureen from Edinburgh dated 1816. And from Dublin a soup ladle that would pair with it nicely dated 1781. From London silversmiths there is an elegant pair of gilt-lined boat shaped salts by Robert Hennell, made in 1784 and a matching pair of embossed silver goblets from 1768.
In some Georgian households there wasn’t a dedicated dining room and once guests had entered through the hallway and passed into a drawing room, tables would be assembled in the hall and ‘dressed’ for dinner. The Georgians also liked to decorate their tables with elaborate centrepieces such as miniature gardens. For our Georgian display we have a period dolls house as our centrepiece.
Dressed for Dinner: Three centuries of fine dining and silver tableware
Selling Exhibition – 24 February to 24 May 2014. Open 9am – 5pm.