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Around Home : Notes on Gazebos, Sconces and Teakettles : The History of Silver, GENERAL EDITOR, CLAUDE BLAIR, Ballantine Books, 1987

June 12, 1988|Sam Burchell \f7

THE EDITOR has gathered together a group of English experts, many of them connected with London's Victoria and Albert Museum, who comment at length on the history and development of silver artifacts from the earliest times to the present day. The result is comprehensive (particularly in combination with the many photographs in color and in black and white), although the texts are inclined to be a trifle scholarly--and a trifle dry.

For the non-specialist, perhaps the most rewarding section deals with the Art Deco period, providing some intriguing examples from French silversmiths and from Josef Hoffman's Wiener Werkstatte . And there is an informative piece on contemporary silver, most of the makers being British or Scandinavian.

Particularly welcome are two engaging and marvelously clear technical chapters: one on the tools and techniques of the silversmith and the other a discussion of silver's evocative hallmarks, from the leopard's head of London to the rose of Sheffield.

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