Silver service as exhibition brings treasures to the table

The gallery's Rebecca Hardy with some of the more contemporary exhibits on show. Picture: Scott Merrylees
The gallery's Rebecca Hardy with some of the more contemporary exhibits on show. Picture: Scott Merrylees
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They brought out the best silver yesterday, from perhaps the country’s biggest sideboard.

A glittering set of table decorations from 1350 to the present day went on display at the ducal Welbeck estate near Worksop.

The two-month exhibition, Made for the Table, has been drawn from the Goldsmiths’ Company Silver Collection, one of the most valuable hoards of British-made antique and contemporary silver.

Its display at Welbeck’s Harley Gallery will be accompanied by a series of talks by art historians and silverware experts.

The gallery’s director, Lisa Gee, said: “We often associate historic silverware with decadent aristocratic dining, but across the centuries silverware has been used in everyday life.

“It’s exciting to see how we can all enjoy using silver objects - whether a beautiful salt cellar you enjoy every day or special silver cutlery for Christmas.”

The Goldsmiths’ Company, formally titled the Worship­ful Company of Goldsmiths, received its royal charter in 1327.

Its assistant curator, Georgia Powell, said the exhibition was “a celebration of techniques, inspiration, and exquisite craftsmanship”.