Cincinnati Silver: 1788-1940

USD $65.00

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ISBN: 978-1-907804-11-3

416 Pages

279 x 229 mm (9 x 11 in)

133 colour and 397 b&w illustrations

In association with the Cincinnati Art Museum

June 2014


Traces the silver industry in the Queen City from the early years of production before the Civil War, through the growth of mechanisation and mass production, and into the Arts and Crafts and Art Deco periods.

“Cincinnati Silver: 1788–1940 will add a significant chapter to the history of this noble metal in America” – Donald L. Fennimore, Curator Emeritus, Winterthur Museum

“Beyond just a book about silver, Dehan uses that silver to tell the complex and fascinating story of the development of one of America’s most important cities” – Andrew Richmond, Vice President, Garth’s Auction

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From elegant tea sets to grand goblets, splendid platters and snuff boxes, the Cincinnati Art Museum holds over 400 pieces of silver designed, crafted, and sold in its city. With its founding in 1788, Cincinnati established itself as a leading centre for the luxury silver trade in the United States.

Two key essays in Cincinnati Silver: 1788–1940 examine the origins, development, structure, and local and national importance of the local silver trade. The volume also includes approximately 150 illustrated, narrative entries on the most active individuals and companies. These entries are richly supplemented with more than 250 colour plates, over 200 maker and retailer hallmarks, and a range of important new archival information, such as illustrations of storefronts, craftsmen and proprietors, period advertisements and sample books. In addition to a bibliography, two appendices present an exhaustive index of other active craftsmen, as well as an inventory of the Museum’s Cincinnati silver collection.

As the first comprehensive volume to be published on this subject in nearly forty years, Cincinnati Silver: 1788– 1940 is a vital resource for scholars, collectors, and enthusiasts of American silver, as well as those interested in American material culture and the development of 18th- and 19th-century commerce.

About the Authors

Amy Miller Dehan is the curator of decorative arts and design at the Cincinnati Art Museum, and was editor of the catalogue Outside the Ordinary: Contemporary Art in Glass, Wood and Ceramics from the Wolf Collection (2009). Janet C. Haartz is a retired chemist, research administrator, and author. Nora Kohl was assistant registrar and curatorial assistant for the decorative arts and design department at the Cincinnati Art Museum.

Table of Contents

  1. Director’s Foreword by Aaron Betsky
  2. Curator’s Acknowlegments
  3. Introduction
  4. Establishment and Growth: 1788–1865
  5. Adjustment, Heyday, and Decline: 1865–1940
  6. Cincinnati Silversmiths and Firms with Known Wares with contributions by Janet C. Haartz
  7. Appendix A: Cincinnati Silversmiths and Firms without Known Wares and Senior Members of Major firms by Janet C. Haartz
  8. Appendix B: Inventory of the Cincinnati Art Museum’s Cincinnati Silver Collection by Nora Kohl
  9. Selected Bibliography
  10. Index