Silver & Metal Work
The historic Irish silver collection has few equals. It shows the skills of the Irish makers and the taste and influence of the aristocratic patron on the styles and fashions of the times.
The earliest piece, the Loftus Cup is engraved with the words 'This silver cuppe was made of the great seale of Ireland in 1593, Adam Loftus being then Lord Chancellor'. Seventeenth century pieces include two two-handled cups with covers, a tankard of 1679 by Edward Swan, a Dublin rosewater dish of 1658, a chocolate pot of 1699 and a small but comprehensive group of spoons.
The strongest section of the collections are the 18th century holdings which include dining silver such as the large wine cistern with swan neck handles, Dublin 1715, by John Hamilton; an epergne of 1770 made for the Butler family, Dukes of Ormonde, and a monteith of 1726 made by Thomas Sutton. Eighteenth century flatware includes fish slices and punch ladles.
The Bolton Charger, made in 1708 to commemorate the centenary of the Plantation of Londonderry is the largest known piece of Queen Anne silver. The single most important holding is the Kildare Toilet Service, a uniquely large and complete 28 piece silver gilt toilet service, made for the dressing table of the wife of the 19th Earl of Kildare to celebrate the birth of their son. Made by David Willaume, it dates from 1720-22.
The contemporary collection
The contemporary collection is also primarily Irish, with commissioned and purchased pieces by Kevin O'Dwyer, Cara Murphy and others.MetalworkWe hold collections of Elkington Electrotype and pewter, and a small selection of other metalwork.Image: Salt and Pepper casters, silver and stone, Cara Mu...
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