Competition Now Closed. The Winner will be announced in the New Year.
The Huguenot Museum is delighted to announce the launch of its first craft commissioning project, New Huguenot Silver. The competition is now open to find a contemporary silversmith to create a piece or pieces of work for sale and display at the Huguenot Museum.
New Huguenot Silver will fund one contemporary designer-maker to create a new piece(s) of silver for the Huguenot Museum shop. The project is this year funded by the South East Museum Development Programme. Entries will be judged by Dr Tessa Murdoch, Deputy Keeper of Sculpture, Metalwork and Glass at the V&A and Steven Follen, metalwork artist and designer/maker.
Silver was one of the key trades practised by the Huguenots, refugees from France who came to Britain in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. The new arrivals changed the face of the trade, introducing the Rococo style to British silver and new forms to British plate; as well as bringing a significantly upskilled new workforce to London and beyond. Some of Britain’s best-known eighteenth-century silversmiths were Huguenots, including Paul de Lamerie and Paul Crespin. The Huguenot Museum itself has an important and respected collection of silver, which derives from the French Hospital, an organisation established in 1718 to care for Huguenots in need. The Museum’s collection includes objects in use at the eighteenth-century Directors’ dining table, sacred silver from Huguenot churches, and commissions from Hospital directors (some of whom were practising goldsmiths) spanning the eighteenth century to the present day.
New Huguenot Silver also marks the acquisition of two portraits for the Museum collection, one depicting a Huguenot silversmith, Jean Jacob and the other, his wife, Anne (née Courtauld). Both the Jacob and Courtauld families were prominent silversmithing dynasties, with their workshops in the heart of eighteenth-century London.
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