Modern Collection

The Goldsmiths’ Company decided in 1926 to begin a collection of modern silver, to improve the design and craftsmanship in the silver industry.

In addition, by naming the individual silversmiths acquired, the Company helped the profile of the maker and the collectability of their work. This initiative focused the Company’s effectiveness, as it still does today, as the principal patron of the craft. The Company set itself a goal to ‘educate the popular taste and show itself a patron of the best contemporary work’.

The Modern Silver Collection, dating from 1926 to the present day, numbers over 1,000 items. Consistently over this period of 80 years, up to 10 items of modern silver have been added annually, either by purchase or commission. The Collection overall provides a comprehensive picture of the development of modern silver, demonstrating innovative design and dexterity of craftsmanship, as well as providing an insight into the Company’s informed patronage.


Highlights from the Modern Collection

1927 Shagreen Cigar Box by J Paul Cooper

Cedar casket covered in shagreen with silver panel wires and applied chased mermaids and fishes in low relief setting to the press button.

1929 The Sea Beaker by R M Y Gleadowe

Hand-raised with chased wave ornament on base. Pictorial engraving of mythical creatures and cup designed by Gleadowe.

1932 Mazer Bowl by Omar Ramsden

Mounted antiqued Maplewood with decorative cast outer frieze of crowned leopard heads and buckles amidst Tudor roses and leaves.

1933 Coffee pot and hot milk jug by H.G. Murphy

Hand-raised with chased linear decoration, wooden handles and finials. Maker’s mark: H.G. Murphy, Falcon workshop mark.

1933 Rosewater Dish by Harold Stabler

Silver-gilt spun and hammered dish, rim with applied die-stamped motifs. The central boss with chased Company coat of arms.

1937 Fishing Trophy by Leslie Durbin

Hand-raised cup and cover with pictorial engraving of swimming fishes amongst seaweed. Carved ivory handles and ivory mermaid finial.

1964 Embassy Silver Tea Set by David Mellor

Hand-raised with black fibre handle to teapot. Maker’s mark: David Mellor, Sheffield.

1992 Thistle Vase by Gerald Benney

Hammered silver, parcel-gilt vase, basse-taille red enamel over textured silver.

1999 Millennium Dish by Stuart Devlin

A celebration of the City of London, the home of the Goldsmiths’ Company since 1327.

1999 ‘Millennium Bowl’ by Toby Russell

Bowl consisting of 14 leaves created by scoring, folding and block forming. Polished by Reg Elliot of Elliot Fitzpatrick Ltd. Maker’s mark: Toby Russell.

1999 Millennium Dish by Jane Short

Engraved with champlevé and basse-taille enamel by Jane Short, spun bowl section by Clive Burr, silversmith.

1999 Millennium Casket by Malcolm Appleby

18 carat white and yellow gold casket designed and engraved by Malcolm Appleby, made by Hector Miller, silversmith.

2003 Vase by Hiroshi Suzuki

'Aqua-Poesy VII': Hand-raised, hammered and chased.

2008 ‘Riviera’ Jug by Richard Fox

Fabricated, seamed, with computer engraved fluted spout. Turned tulip wood handle.

2009 Bowl by Michael Lloyd

Hand-raised and hand-chased bowl inlaid with fine gold, on forged stand.

2011 Pair of two-light candelabra by Grant Macdonald

Opposing ‘C’form. The two sides of each arm of the piece were fabricated by making a curved steel tool and hammering the two halves of silver sheet over it, an inner and outer piece.

2012 ‘Persephone’ Vase by Rauni Higson

Britannia Silver. Spun and hand-raised vase, with soldered fold-formed elements. Maker’s mark: Rauni Higson.

2015 Diamond Jubilee Rosewater dish by Rod Kelly

Raised, beaten sunk by hand, and hammered into an octagonal form with chased decoration. Parcel gilt highlights.

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About the Collection

Internationally recognised, the Goldsmiths’ Company has one of the finest collections of silver made in Britain, numbering some 8,000 examples from 1350 to the present day.

Antique Collection

The historic collection dates from 1550 to 1900 and includes internationally renowned masterpieces.

Jewellery Collection

A unique and consistent collection of innovative studio jewellery by creative individuals expressing their artistry in precious metals.