Symposium | Silver in Georgian Ireland

Posted in conferences (to attend) by Editor on May 25, 2018

From the Irish Georgian Society:

Silver in Georgian Ireland
National Museum of Ireland, Dublin, 30 May 2018

Organized by Alison FitzGerald, Emmeline Henderson, and William Laffan

The Irish Georgian Society, Maynooth University, and the National Museum of Ireland are partnering to deliver a symposium on Wednesday, 30th May 2018 focusing on silver in Georgian Ireland. The symposium will showcase new research by established and emerging scholars and examine the circumstances in which silver objects were made, used, valued, and displayed in Georgian Ireland.

The symposium will appeal to both a specialist audience and the general public. It seeks to offer a variety of engaging perspectives on one of Dublin’s foremost artisanal trades during a period when new commodities, novel technologies, and fashionable imports were transforming the market for luxury goods. The programme of talks will be complemented by a tour of the National Museum of Ireland’s silver galleries, an unrivalled display of Irish silver from the period, which will allow both experienced and novice silver scholars the opportunity to consider the artefact evidence at first hand.

2018 marks the 21st anniversary of the opening of the silver galleries at the National Museum of Ireland, Collins Barracks. It thus represents a timely moment to reflect on one of the highlights of the decorative arts collection, which has not been explored before in the context of such a focused study day. The inclusion of speakers from the United Kingdom and Europe allows for a nuanced view of silver in Georgian Ireland, considering how the movement of people, patterns, and plate in the early modern world affected what was crafted and coveted in Irish towns and cities.

Silver in Georgian Ireland has been made possible through sponsorship from an anonymous donor, Ecclesiastical Insurance, Paul Mellon Centre for the Studies in British Art, and Weldon of Dublin. The symposium has been convened by Dr Alison FitzGerald, Lecturer, Maynooth University, who is responsible for providing the academic programming; Emmeline Henderson, IGS Assistant Director and Conservation Manager; and William Laffan, IGS Committee Member. The symposium forms an action of the Irish Georgian Society’s Conservation Education Programme, which is supported by Merrion Property Group and Heather and John Picerne.


9.30  Registration

10.00  Welcome from Audrey Whitty (Keeper of the Art and Industrial Division, Decorative Arts and History, National Museum of Ireland)

10.10  Session One
Chair: David Fleming (Irish Georgian Society Committee Member and Lecturer, Department of History, University of Limerick)
• Alison FitzGerald (Lecturer, Department of History, Maynooth University), Changed Utterly? Continuity and Change in Dublin’s Silver Trade during the Long Eighteenth Century
• Toby Barnard (Emeritus Fellow in History, University of Oxford), ‘Making the Grand Figure’: The Social Currency of Silverware in Georgian Ireland
• John Bowen (Master Warden, The Company of Goldsmiths of Dublin), Smaller Cities: Irish Provincial Silver in the Georgian Era

11.40  Coffee Break

12.05  Session Two
Chair: Donough Cahill, Irish Georgian Society, Executive Director
• Damian Collins (Postgraduate student, Department of History, Maynooth University), ‘The Metal Stamp’d by Honest Fame’: The Production and Consumption of Gold and Silver Boxes in Georgian Dublin
• Bert De Munck (Department of History, Centre for Urban History, University of Antwerp), Marks of Craftsmanship? An Historical View on the Politics of Branding and Hallmarks

1.20  Lunch and Tour of the NMI silver galleries with Michael Kenny (Former curator in the NMI’s Art and Industrial Division)

2.50  Session Three
Chair: Alison FitzGerald (Lecturer, Department of History, Maynooth University)
• Thomas Sinsteden (Independent Scholar), Plate Inventories as Evidence: The Dukes’ of Ormonde Plate
• Jessica Cunningham (Independent Scholar), ‘Taken or Destroy’d’: The Household Silver of Castlecomer House, 1798
• Zara Power (Independent Scholar), The Magnetism of Fine Gems: Jewellery in Eighteenth-Century Ireland
• Tessa Murdoch (Deputy Keeper, Department of Sculpture, Metalwork, Ceramics and Glass, V&A), Elite Gift Exchange: A Case Study of Emily Lennox’s Christening Bowl

5.00  Closing Remarks by Emmeline Henderson (Irish Georgian Society, Assistant Director and Conservation Manager)

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