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Author Topic:   Silver in museums...
Ulysses Dietz
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iconnumber posted 08-22-2011 11:56 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Ulysses Dietz     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I had to post a prank image sent to me by Dallas' curator of decorative arts...who is installing a new silver gallery with their marvelous collection.

He still hasn't told me if it was a designer's revenge, or what!

All that said, it is interesting, and a bit saddening, to witness the decline in interest in silver across the general American public, as collectors age and the high-powered silver market of the 1980s and 90s dwindles. This makes the role of the Museum even more crucial for the long-term survival in information about silver and its role in human culture. Silver isn't going to go away, but, like carriages and outhouses, will come to represent something from the past, and not the present.

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Richard Kurtzman
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iconnumber posted 08-22-2011 12:44 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Richard Kurtzman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Ulysses, A very slight disagreement. I don't know of any outhouse collectors and there may be a carriage collector or two, but silver has been used and collected for centuries and that will not go away. As you said what is going away is the general American public. Historically silver has been for the rich and upper class and sadly we are returning to that paradigm.

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agleopar

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Registered: Jun 2004

iconnumber posted 08-24-2011 10:41 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for agleopar     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Is the body outline the "last" viewer of silver?

It does feel that way sometimes but then I just saw an auction report of a Jensen fish platter with cover and grill (?) that went for something like $130,000! So yes the top end is going strong and the massed produced stuff is being melted faster than the Titanic went down.

Is this bad? Or just a repeat or variation on an old, old cycle of ups and downs in silver.

There are no makers so there is nothing to see in shop windows and the average antique is just a poor regurgitation of some over used design. The new non tarnishing sterling has not been promoted and the value of sterling at $40+ is the last straw.

Compare the US to England where there are 3-4,000 smiths, new designs, competitions and a public that at least for the time being still buy for special occasions.

So it seems that here it will be like in the 50's and 60's for the next 20 or so years and then?? With so few makers maybe a revival of things antique?

Museums will be as you say Ulysses and thank heavens that like Newark there are great collections that may be the trigger for appreciation in the future.

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Ulysses Dietz
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iconnumber posted 08-31-2011 01:32 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Ulysses Dietz     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
All good observations. I hadn't realized that there were so many smiths in England. There are lots of jewelers working in silver in the US...but the Brits hold onto culture and we let it slip through our fingers...this isn't a new thing with us by any means. It's part of how we're hard-wired, along with our distrust of "culture" in general.

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agleopar

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iconnumber posted 09-01-2011 09:52 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for agleopar     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
A good way to see contemporary English silversmithing is the Goldsmiths Company (the ancient guild of silversmiths) web site.
Designers and Makers

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Ulysses Dietz
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iconnumber posted 09-13-2011 10:36 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Ulysses Dietz     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Of course, I spent a fortune on silver just this year from Christie's--purposely to save some important objects from disappearing into the ether...

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salmoned

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iconnumber posted 09-13-2011 06:43 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for salmoned     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
We'd love to see them!

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Ulysses Dietz
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iconnumber posted 11-08-2011 11:29 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Ulysses Dietz     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
If you go to my Tiffany in Paris 1900" thread, you'll see pictures of the pieces I bought this year.

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