Newsletter Archive: Spring 2003
A Century of Silver:
Silversmiths in the 18th century
A remarkable collection of 18th century silver, made by three generations
of Courtauld family silversmiths, will go on display at the Courtauld
Institute Gallery from 10th June 2003. This major collection of over
eighty pieces, on permanent loan from Akzo Nobel, will be shown as a
spectacular buffet and table display. The new display is made possible
by support from Akzo Nobel, the Heritage Lottery Fund, the Goldsmiths Company
and a private benefactor.
The Courtauld silver collection, unique of its kind, was built up from 1950 onwards by Courtaulds plc, now part of Akzo Nobel. The collection comprises pieces by three generations of 18th-century London silversmiths, members of the Huguenot Courtauld family and ancestors of Samuel Courtauld, after whom the Courtauld Institute of Art is named. Designed for domestic use and display, the items range in date from 1710 to 1779 and demonstrate the quality of workmanship and innovative design skills brought to England by Huguenot refugee craftsmen.
It is fitting that these objects should be shown in one of the finest 18th-century interiors in London. The silver will be shown on a buffet and tables alongside 18th-century paintings, furniture and other objects from the Courtauld collections in one of the Fine Rooms of Somerset House, the architectural masterpiece of Sir William Chambers. A Century of Silver: The Courtauld silver-smithsin the 18th century will focus on consumption, use and display, providing an extensive study of the evolution of a dynastic company beginning in the classic period of Huguenot silver, and adding a new dimension to the understanding of 18th- century craftsmanship and taste.
The display will be accompanied by a 48-page book, priced £5 and by a series of talks and events in the Gallery.
FIONA MOORHEAD — Head of Public Affairs and Events