Preview the collection The Plate Competition The Silversmiths Exhibitions About the Trust
About the Trust The Silversmiths The Plate Competition View the Collection


The Silver Trust
The idea of an organisation to encourage and publicise the work of practising British silversmiths was first raised by Lady Henderson at a meeting with Miss Jean Muir and Professor Gerald Benney at the Goldsmiths' Hall in 1985.

In 1987 Mr Rupert Hambro, Lady Falkender, Lady Henderson and Miss Jean Muir, who were later joined by other Trustees, set up The Silver Trust. It was their intention that silver owned and commissioned by the Trust would be made available on loan for the use in government houses such as 10 Downing Street and Her Majesty's embassies abroad.

The Trust's first commission was in 1987, a cruet set from Malcolm Appleby. At first sponsorship was difficult. However in 1991 a very generous donation from an anonymous benefactor allowed the Trust to begin commissioning in earnest. A Commissioning Committee comprising Lady Falkender, Mr Rupert Hambro, Lady Henderson and Miss Muir was established and as result much of the Collection was commissioned and made between 1991 and 1993.

By early in 1993 there was sufficient silver to present the Collection to 10 Downing Street for the use of the then Prime Minister, John Major. Since then it has been in regular use for many government and state occasions.


The St George Centrepiece by Kevin Coates

Candelabra by Michael Rowe

The Plate Competition was held in 1992, organised by Drusilla Beyfus for the Daily Telegraph and underwritten by Sir Jocelyn Stevens, the Rector of the Royal College and Mrs Duffield. The silver for the plates was given to the Trust by Paul Tear, Chief Executive of Thessco Limited and to commemorate this generous gesture each of the plates was marked with an additional sponsor's mark, PT.

This was a national competition offering artists and designers the opportunity to design a plate for The Silver Trust National Collection. Many of the winners, who were each presented with a special Silver Trust medal struck by the Royal Mint were amateurs or students.

The Trust has instituted a series of exhibitions during the summer Parliamentary recess alternating the yearly exhibition between the United Kingdom and a venue abroad. This has ensured that work of The Silver Trust has become better known and many of the silversmiths represented in the collection have received commissions as a result of these annual exhibitions. The exhibitions also allow the Trust to show new pieces that have been commissioned into The Silver Trust National Collection.

The Silver Trust is a registered charity and relies on donations to continue its work in promoting the art of British silversmiths.

Exhibitions of the Silver Trust collection

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