SILVER 1800-2000 OPENS FEBRUARY 2000
The second phase of the redisplay of the Silver Galleries at the V&A will open on 1 6 February 2000. Following the successful creation in 1996 of galleries devoted to English silver 1300-1800, Silver 1800-2000 will showcase further spectacular objects from the National Collection of Silver, celebrating two centuries of experimentation and inventiveness in this precious metal.
Over 1000 pieces from 1800 to the present day will be beautifully
displayed in a restored Victorian setting. Objects from Britain,
the Continent and America will be as diverse as a lady's skirt
train holder1 a sea urchin salt cellar, a presentation spade
and an impressive Doncaster race cup standing over 3 feet high.
Pull out drawers will be filled with curiosities and collectors'
items ranging from cutlery to bottle tickets and novelty nutmeg
graters. Exquisitely crafted Regency flatware will illustrate
the fine art of laying the table. Social themes such as silver
for hotels and for clients in India and Burma and for neo-gothic
churches will be explored. Silver by such major 19th-century
designers as A. W. N. Pugin, William Burges and Christopher Dresser
will feature prominently. Three life-sized electrotype lions
will stand guard at one end of the galleries. The galleries themselves
have been painstakingly restored to their original 1 ~ splendour,
providing a richly painted and gilded setting for the spectacular
objects on display.