A visit from the Silver Society and new insights on the collection

We were thrilled to welcome back visitors this month after a quiet period due to COVID-19 restrictions.

Two of those visits were from members of The Silver Society who enjoyed a tour led by the curatorial team followed by a handling session and, of course, tea! It was brilliant to have such knowledgeable experts shed their eyes over our significant silver tea-ware collection! The groups had some fascinating insights to share on the objects, and this led to some great conversations and new research leads.

Visitors enjoyed a tour of the Collection and lively conversations on our silver tea-wares

One of those was about our Belgian teapot and its accompanying leather carrying case (or ‘necessaire’), made by Nicolas Berleur in 1792. With uncertainty surrounding the material used for the spout of the pot, Silver Society specialists confirmed that due to the metal colouring, the material is gold. This could potentially add to the explanation of why a carrying case was needed for this object – as gold is a much softer metal and therefore more at risk of damage than silver. This opens new questions to explore: Why was this part of the teapot made of a different material?

Teapot and leather case, Nicolas Berleur, 1792, CCN.1391.

The interest of visitors was also peaked over the designs of two further objects. The coat of arms on this Anthony Nelme teapot is unusual for being engraved over a roundel of hatching, as well as over the fascinating coat of arms that is featured on the pot and divided into 12 sections with connections to the St. George family, likely Captain Richard St. George of Athlone. The 4-balled pedestal foot on this Paul Storr design was also commented on as an unusual for his output.

Silver teapot with coat of arms, Anthony Nelme, 1712, CCN. 206.
Silver teapot in the shape of a Roman oil lamp, Paul Storr, 1814, CCN. 1281

The Chitra Collection is fortunate to have a fabulous collection of silverware by Paul Storr, which you can find more about in the Collections area of the website.

Researching the histories of our objects is an ongoing process, and it is really exciting to get clues that help us understand them better.

Thanks to our visitors from the Society!