The Story of Silver in Savannah: Creating and Collecting since the 18th Century

Telfair Academy March 6 - August 1, 2010

Exhibition Closed August 2010

This exhibition examines the important role Savannah played in the production and collection of silver in Georgia’s largest coastal city. With some exceptions, silver manufacturing in Savannah lasted approximately a century, from the second half of the 18th century to just before the Civil War. However, collecting the precious metal in its decorative form continues to the present. Building on the museum’s Savannah-related silver holdings, this notable exhibition and accompanying catalog brings together numerous public and private collections that feature Savannah-made silver as well as wares made in America and Europe. Adding to the Telfair’s growing work on Savannah’s material culture, The Story of Silver in Savannah will feature more than 600 pieces of silver connected to the city. From simple spoons made by Savannah silversmiths to elaborate tea sets and dinner wares owned by historic Savannah families to contemporary collections featuring important examples of American and English silver, this show will explore the evolving relationship between this prized metal and the inhabitants of Savannah.

This exhibition is sponsored, in part, by the Telfair Academy Guild (TAG).

The exhibition catalog has been generously sponsored by Helen Downing, the Telfair Academy Guild and Friends of the Owens-Thomas House.

Special Silver Tour at the Owens-Thomas House
Daily, 2pm

Supporting the exhibition, The Story of Silver in Savannah, the Owens-Thomas House will offer guided tours featuring silver on display in nearly every room of the house. In addition to the chance to view historic silver in a period setting, visitors will learn about silver made in the city, see objects used and owned by historic Savannah families and contemporary collectors, and gain an understanding of how silver was used and maintained in an upscale, early nineteenth century home.
Cost is $5.00 in addition to general admission.

Silver: A Collector’s Perspective
Friday, May 7, 2010, 12:30 pm
Join silver collector Helen Downing for a lecture in conjunction with the exhibition The Story of Silver in Savannah: Creating and Collecting since the 18th Century. Mrs. Downing has lectured on the history and identification of silver at many venues and is a major lender to the exhibition. Free to members or with museum admission.

Docent guided tours of The Story of Silver in Savannah
Fridays at 3 p.m.
Telfair Academy
March 12 – June 4
Telfair docents will present walk-in tours of The Story of Silver in Savannah at the Telfair Academy. Friday walk-in tours are free with museum admission and to Telfair members.
For group tours of the exhibition at the Telfair Academy please call 912.790.8827.


Images from top to bottom: Tea Service: Pitcher, Teapot, Sugar bowl and lid, Waste Bowl c. 1815-1820 John A. Crawford Period 19th century Type decorative art Medium Silver Size Pitcher: H: 7 9/16 in.; w. from spout to handle: 4  ½ in.; Teapot: H: 9 9/16 in., w. from spout to handle, 11  ½ in.; Sugar bowl and lid: H: 9 in., w. from handle to handle, 7 7/8 in., Waste bowl: H: 6 in., W. 6 3/8 in. Ewer c. 1840 Attributed to Samuel Child Kirk Period 19th century Type decorative art Medium Silver Size H: 16  ½ in.;   from spout to handle, 9 in.