The Fogg Museum’s collection of silver made in the British Isles over three centuries is one of the most comprehensive of its kind in North America. It includes objects that range from Elizabethan cups to works by such well-known ﬁgures as Jacob Bodendeich, Paul de Lamerie, and Hester Bateman. Also featured are iconic objects of Harvard University’s own historic silver, such as the Great Salt, the university’s oldest relic, which has been in America since the 1630s. Some 280 pieces—most previously unpublished—are catalogued and discussed with illustrations of all their marks, a number of which are newly identiﬁed.
The collection presents a wide-ranging survey of the evolution of styles and decoration from 1550 to 1850. The contributions made by foreign craftsmen to silver produced in London in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries are discussed, as is the distinctive silverware made in Dublin and Edinburgh, and in English provincial centers such as Exeter and Newcastle. This catalogue also paints a vivid portrait of collecting decorative arts in America during the last hundred years.
Christopher Hartop is an independent author and consultant. He was Head of the Silver Department and later Executive Vice President, Christie’s, New York, 1984–99. He has written several books, including The Huguenot Legacy: English Silver 1680–1760, which was awarded the National Huguenot Society Annual Book Prize in 1997. Ellenor Alcorn is consulting curator for the Jerome and Rita Gans Collection of English Silver at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, Richmond.
Funding for this catalogue has been provided by the Paul Clarke Stauﬀer Fund, Harvard University Art Museums, and by a gift from Edith Welch.