This book is a comprehensive, well illustrated guide to one of the most important collections of 18th-century silver in Europe, extending to nearly a thousand individual pieces, being of the highest quality, style and exuberance of form and surviving virtually intact along with extensive and previously untapped archival evidence of its commissioning and use. The book analyses the silver from stylistic and technical perspectives and uses it to shed light on the patronage, fashion, and diplomatic, political and social history of the period. It also casts new light on the Herveys, one of England's most famous and eccentric aristocratic families.
James Rothwell studied art history at Warwick University and gained a Master's Degree at the Courtauld Institute of Art. He has worked for the National Trust since 1995 and is the organisation's adviser on silver, carrying out extensive research on the collections and guiding displays, interpretation and acquisitions. He has published numerous articles on the subject and is the co-author of Country House Silver from Dunham Massey (2006). In collaboration with the Goldsmiths' Company he has overseen a ground-breaking series of exhibitions of works by contemporary silversmiths in National Trust houses.
ForewordPrefaceAcknowledgementsChapter One - Silver patronage in the early 18th century: John Hervey, 1st Earl of BristolChapter Two - Silver for the diplomatic armoury: George William, 2nd Earl of BristolChapter Three - Pomp, power and politics: the later career of the 2nd Earl of BristolChapter Four - Survival against the odds: the Ickworth silver after 1775.CATALOGUEPart 1 Silver of the 1st Earl of BristolPart 2 Silver of Lord and Lady HerveyPart 3 Silver of the 2nd Earl of BristolPart 4 Silver from the late 18th and 19th centuriesAPPENDICES1: References to silver in the 1st Earl of Bristol's accounts2: Documents relating to the 2nd Earl of Bristol's diplomatic plate3: List of plate belonging to the 5th Earl of Bristol, 1811, with later additions4. Hervey family tree