|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.
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 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
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.
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