Silversmiths in Elizabethan and Stuart London is one of the most important works of silver scholarship in recent years. Taking the first surviving makers' mark plate in the archives of the London Assay Office as its starting point, David Mitchell's meticulous research has allowed him to identify some of these previously unknown craftsmen and to piece together the narratives of their lives and trade.
The first part of the book tells the story of the silversmiths' trade in the Elizabethan and Stuart periods, including the range of silver plate available between 1560 and 1700 and the many influences on silversmiths and the wider trade, from the impact of French design and 'Stranger' silversmiths through to Plague, Fire and Civil War.
The second part of the book identifies previously unknown makers, containing attributions for 540 separate marks and some 400 individual biographies compiled from the author's research. Richly illustrated with over 200 images, this work combines social, economic and art history and casts new light on a fascinating period. It will be of interest not only to students and scholars of early modern history and the history of London and to museums with respective art collections, but also to those interested in the Elizabethan and Stuart periods, silver and the decorative arts.
DAVID MITCHELL holds a PhD in history from University College London. He is a Visiting Research Fellow at the Centre for Metropolitan History, Institute of Historical Research, University of London.