Geometry and the Silversmith
The Domcha Collection
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Geometry and the Silversmith by Christopher Hartop
Book DescriptionFrom the earliest times, learning how to construct simple and complex geometric shapes has been part of the training of a silversmith. Moreover, the educated patron of 300 years ago was also likely to be well versed in geometry and able to appreciate the subtleties of design of a seemingly simple cream jug or sugar bowl. Many functional objects in what became known as the 'Queen Anne' style rely for effect on polygons, multifoils, ellipses, and truncated pyramids and cones. Curiously, however, books on the history of European silver have been silent on the subject of geometry and the process by which design is transmitted via the workbench to a finished silver object has scarcely been explored. In his introductory essay, Christopher Hartop suggests that many of the geometric forms that became popular in the early eighteenth century were in fact modelled on imported Asian ceramics and lacquer, some of which in turn were copying much earlier Chinese metal wares. Yet a silversmith still needed a knowledge of geometrical constructions, whether he was copying an imported object, following a design on paper, or utilizing a template. Using the Domcha Collection of predominantly English seventeenth- to nineteenth-century silver as examples, this important new study examines the role of geometry in the design and manufacture of silverware. The coffee pot illustrated on the front cover is a truncated octagonal pyramid and the octofoil salver achieves its pleasing effect through the intersection of four ellipses with common centre. The Domcha Collection, formed during the last 25 years, shows the timeless beauty of plain silver forms, where the emphasis is on line rather than ornament. The collection includes works by such important masters as Paul de Lamerie, Paul Crespin, Frederick Kandler, and the Hennell family. Silver made in Ireland and Scotland is also featured, as is provincial English silver made in York, Sheffield and Newcastle.
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Book DetailsISBN: 9780952432289
(296mm x 220mm x 18mm)
Imprint: John Adamson
Publisher: John Adamson Publishing Consultants
Publish Date: 30-Oct-2008
Country of Publication: United Kingdom
Books By Author Christopher Hartop
Art in Industry, Paperback (October 2015)
The first book for more than fifty years on Paul Storr (1770 - 1844), said to be the greatest English silversmith of the Regency period, offers a new perspective on how entrepreneurs like Storr combined great art with fine craftsmanship, the latter helped by the latest machines.
Norfolk Summer: Making the Go-Between, Paperback (October 2011)
From the fights played out in the boardrooms of Hollywood, New York and London to the making of the film on location in the beautiful Norfolk countryside, from the intrigue surrounding its release to the film's triumph at Cannes, this book tells the story.
Classical Ideal, Paperback (June 2010)» View all books by Christopher Hartop
Tying in with the first-ever exhibition devoted to English neo-classical silver and held at Koopman Rare Art, London, in June 2010, this book brings together a wealth of items in the neo-classical style.
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Author Biography - Christopher Hartop
Christopher Hartop's books include: East Anglian Silver (2004); Royal Goldsmiths: The Art of Rundell & Bridge (2005); A Noble Feast (2008); The Classical Ideal (2010); A Noble Pursuit (2010); and Norfolk Summer: Making The Go-Between (2011).
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