This illustrated guide to silver is intended as much for the reader with a broad interest in the decorative arts and their historical background as for the collector. Written by a team of experts, the book tells the story of the artistic evolution of silver from the earliest times to the present, in both Europe and North America. From being almost exclusively limited to ecclesiastical use in the Middle Ages, silver wares gradually appeared in a domestic environment, first on the tables of the Renaissance nobility, until the Victorian times when they were an essential item in the display cabinets of the middle classes. Appendices on the metals, assaying and hallmarking, and manufacturing techniques, together with 300 photographs, 100 in full colour - showing objects of historical importance and immense value and also those within the price range of the collector - complete the text.
Claude Blair, editor, was the Keeper of the Department of Metalwork at London's V&A museum, until his retirement in 1982. He is author of several books on metalwork.