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.
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.