The art of silversmithing dates back centuries, and its history is exciting and intricate. Still, even Old Silver connoisseurs aren’t familiar with all of the past’s customs, laws, regulations, and fashions. First published in 1937, The Book of Old Silver thoroughly chronicles the fascinating history of the art of this precious metal, starting in England, which produced more fine silver than any other country and ignited the craft’s most remarkable flowering.
Did you know the word “Sterling” originates from a band of immigrant Germans, the Easterlings, who King John called on in 1300 to refine the metal to make English coins? Or that the English government regulated the stamping of silver by law and later punished the marking of inferior pieces with the sterling hallmark by death? Seymour B. Wyler follows the history of various silver pieces, including tea services, drinking articles, condiment sets, tableware, lighting appliances, and furniture, and details the history of silver in different parts of the United Kingdom, America, and Europe.
Along with the history and traditions, Wyler provides instructions on properly caring for and cleaning Old Silver, details how to identify antique pieces, and provides tables and illustrations of various silversmiths’ marks. Including photographs of antiques dating back to the sixteenth century, this book is a must-have for every silver collector.