Six Oxford landmarks have been recreated in miniature by a silversmith as part of an exhibition at the Ashmolean Museum. Ms Ambery-Smith, 60, who lived round the corner from the Ashmolean as a child, said she was “totally delighted and honoured” to be given the commission. Vicki Ambery-Smith created the pieces to mark the 350th anniversary of the city’s famous Sheldonian Theatre. Other key pieces include a Radcliffe Camera brooch and St John’s College recreated as a condiment set. The roof of this “box” opens to reveal the etched interior of the theatre. The arcade and the upper storey have been plated in yellow gold and oxidised silver, with the cupola highlighted with enamel to represent oxidised copper. Ms Ambery-Smith, who creates ornate small-scale jewellery and boxes inspired by real and imaginary buildings, was commissioned by the Ashmolean to recreate six Oxford architectural landmarks of her choice. Other works include Magdalen College Tower, created as a set of two stacking boxes made in silver, and a Keble College box photo etched in silver with red gold plate on the roof. The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. The Architecture in Miniature display features the Grade I-listed theatre in silver, yellow gold and enamel.
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Sterling silver is an alloy of silver containing 92.5% by weight of silver and 7.5% by weight of other metals, usually copper. 1300) with the explanation that the coin was originally made by moneyers from that region. Fine silver, which is 99.9% pure silver, is relatively soft, so silver is usually alloyed with copper to increase its hardness and strength. One of the earliest attestations of the term is in Old French form esterlin, in a charter of the abbey of Les Préaux, dating to either 1085 or 1104. The English chronicler Orderic Vitalis (1075 – c. The British numismatist Philip Grierson disagrees with the “star” etymology, as the stars appeared on Norman pennies only for the single three-year issue from 1077 to 1080 (the Normans changed coin designs every three years). 1142) uses the Latin forms libræ sterilensium and libræ sterilensis monetæ. According to the Oxford English Dictionary, the most plausible etymology is a derivation from a late Old English steorling (with, or like, a ‘little star’), as some early Norman pennies were imprinted with a small star. Because the League’s money was not frequently debased like that of England, English traders stipulated to be paid in pounds of the Easterlings, which was contracted to sterling – click through the next webpage – . Byzantine solidus, originally known as the solidus aureus meaning ‘solid gold‘ or ‘reliable gold‘. Their Kontor, the Steelyard of London, was called Easterlings Hall, or Esterlingeshalle. In 1260, Henry III granted them a charter of protection. The claim has been made in Henry Spelman’s glossary (Glossarium Archaiologicum) as referenced in Commentaries on the Laws of England by William Blackstone. Recent examples of these alloys include argentium, sterlium and silvadium. The word in origin refers to the newly introduced Norman silver penny. Such elements include germanium, zinc, platinum, silicon, and boron. Another argument is that the Hanseatic League was the source for both the origin of its definition and manufacture, and in its name is that the German name for the Baltic is Ostsee, or ‘East Sea’, and from this the Baltic merchants were called “Osterlings”, or “Easterlings”. The Hanseatic League was officially active in the London trade from 1266 to 1597. This etymology may have been first suggested by Walter de Pinchebek (c. In support of this he cites the fact that one of the first acts of the Normans was to restore the coinage to the consistent weight and purity it had in the days of Offa, King of Mercia. By 1854, the tie between Easterling and Sterling was well-established, as Ronald Zupko quotes in his dictionary of weights.
This would have been perceived as a contrast to the progressive debasement of the intervening 200 years, and would therefore be a likely source for a nickname. 3⁄4 pennyweights of alloy, with 20 pennyweights to the troy ounce. REX (“King Henry”) but this was added later, in the reign of Henry III. In Colonial America, sterling silver was used for currency and general goods as well. Although silversmiths of this era were typically familiar with all precious metals, they primarily worked in sterling silver. The colonies lacked an assay office during this time (the first would be established in 1814), so American silversmiths adhered to the standard set by the London Goldsmiths Company: sterling silver consisted of 91.5-92.5% by weight silver and 8.5-7.5 wt% copper. 12th century in the area that is now northern Germany. A piece of sterling silver dating from Henry II’s reign was used as a standard in the Trial of the Pyx until it was deposited at the Royal Mint in 1843. It bears the royal stamp ENRI. Colonial silversmiths used many of the techniques developed by those in Europe. Casting was frequently the first step in manufacturing silver pieces, as silver workers would melt down sterling silver into easily manageable ingots. Stamping each of their pieces with their personal maker’s mark, colonial silversmiths relied upon their own status to guarantee the quality and composition of their products. Between 1634 and 1776, some 500 silversmiths created items in the “New World” ranging from simple buckles to ornate Rococo coffee pots.
Occasionally, they would create small components (e.g. teapot legs) by casting silver into iron or graphite molds, but it was rare for an entire piece to be fabricated via casting. Following the Revolutionary War, Revere acquired and made use of a silver rolling mill from England. To reduce the amount of counterfeiting of silver items. From about 1840 to 1940 in the United States and Europe, sterling silver cutlery (US: ‘flatware’) became de rigueur when setting a proper table. To note the date and/or location of the manufacture or tradesman. He retired a wealthy artisan, his success partly due to this strategic investment. The height of the silver craze was during the 50-year period from 1870 to 1920. Flatware lines during this period sometimes included up to 100 different types of pieces. Silversmiths would then seam parts together to create complex and artistic items, sealing the gaps with a solder of 80 wt% silver and 20 wt% bronze. Finally, they would file and polish their work to remove all seams, finishing off with engraving and stamping the smith’s mark. The hammering occurred at room temperature, and, like any cold forming process, caused work hardening of the silver, which become increasingly brittle and difficult to shape. Although he is celebrated for his beautiful hollowware, Revere made his fortune primarily on low-end goods produced by the mill, such as flatware. There was a marked increase in the number of silver companies that emerged during that period. To restore the workability, the silversmith would anneal the piece-that is, heat it to a dull red and then quench it in water-to relieve the stresses in the material and return it to a more ductile state. Hammering required more time than all other silver manufacturing processes, and therefore accounted for the majority of labor costs. This was especially true during the Victorian period, when etiquette dictated no food should be touched with one’s fingers. The American revolutionary Paul Revere was regarded as one of the best silversmiths from this “Golden Age of American Silver”. With the onset of the first Industrial Revolution, silversmithing declined as an artistic occupation. More commonly, a silversmith would forge an ingot into the desired shape, often hammering the thinned silver against specially shaped dies to “mass produce” simple shapes like the oval end of a spoon. Cutlery sets were often accompanied by tea sets, hot water pots, chocolate pots, trays and salvers, goblets, demitasse cups and saucers, liqueur cups, bouillon cups, egg cups, plates, napkin rings, water and wine pitchers and coasters, candelabra and even elaborate centerpieces. To indicate the purity of the silver alloy used in the manufacture or hand-crafting of the piece. To identify the silversmith or company that made the piece.