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Post War Winners: 60 Years of British Silver A selling exhibition at The London Silver Vaults
May 14, 2012  | 
The summer selling exhibition from May 28 - September 29, at The London Silver Vaults in Chancery Lane, will focus on the achievements of leading British designer silversmiths of the past 60 years. Gerald Benney, Stuart Devlin, Christopher Lawrence and Robert Welch are among the names to be feted in this opportunity to view and buy these artists’ works created during the reign of Queen Elizabeth II, many of whom are represented in the Royal Collection.

Since the early 1950s, the tradition of British silver making has lain in the hands of skilled designer silversmiths. From the Victorian age until then, most silver was manufactured by long-established firms and the actual designer was not often credited. The reduction in output of domestic silver brought about by the social changes of the Second World War led to a rise in individual silver craftsmen setting up their own studios and workshops. Their output was relatively limited, although some of them crossed in to the world of industry by designing for manufacturers of stainless steel (Devlin designed for Viners; Robert Welch for Old Hall); some, such as David Mellor, became manufacturers themselves. Many of the silversmiths to be featured continue their work today.

The silversmiths took inspiration from changing aesthetics in sculpture, abstract art, modernist architecture and design. New geometric forms were balanced by abstract impressionistic textural surfaces. Lacquering skills were re-developed to bring colour and contrast. A range of additional materials and decorative techniques were explored and incorporated, often from other cultures, to enhance the silver.

Mid-twentieth century silver is a rapidly growing collecting area, as this period is in many areas of design. A good selection of well-priced pieces is readily found at the Vaults, alongside many more important commissioned and one-off works.

The selling exhibition at the London Silver Vaults will draw examples of post war silver for sale from the 30 shops located here. Pieces from leading retailers, such as Asprey and Garrard, are included, also jewellery, and commemorative gift items created with the special 2012 Jubilee hallmark celebrating the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee.

One of the capital’s unique assets, The London Silver Vaults is home to 30 specialist retailers offering the greatest collection of English silver for sale in the world, antique, modern and contemporary. Some dealers also specialise in Chinese and Japanese silver; jewellery is available in a number of the shops, and vintage watches can also be found. International collectors have been visiting the Vaults since they opened in 1953. The shops are the best source anywhere for silver for the home such as cutlery and tableware, and are a perfect place to find traditional silver gifts for weddings, anniversaries and other important occasions.

More Information:
The London Silver Vaults, Chancery Lane
Tel. 02(0).7242.3844