‘The Unfortunate Man, Alexander Dick…’

Silver spoons were very nearly Alexander Dick’s (c.1791-1843) undoing. A free settler who arrived in 1824, he was a working silversmith with a prospering business in Sydney in 1826 when he made a deal that cost him dearly. Anxious to produce an order of silverware for a client, he knowingly bought a set of ‘old’ […]

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What Rhymes with Porringer?

If someone were to politely offer you ‘a little silver porringer of hot terrapin’ would you eagerly accept, respectfully decline, or ask for more information? While such an offer might bewilder contemporary diners, an 1880s gourmet would lick their lips in anticipation of tucking into some creamy turtle soup served in a small silver bowl. […]

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Madeira, my dear?

In the days before the twentieth century’s marketing of alcohol with distinctive bottles and branded labels, alcohol was decanted at home into glass decanters. Wine labels, or ‘bottle tickets’ as they were sometimes known, were hung on the necks of decanters to identify the contents within – in this case, madeira and brandy. Decanters and […]

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Winners and Losers

The jockey atop this impressive silver racing trophy has lost his more than his whip; he has lost his place in history. It’s not known who won this cup, or indeed, if it was ever presented as a trophy. The cartouche (ornate frame), which would customarily be engraved with the name, date and place of […]

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In the Soup

Soup was an important part of nineteenth century dining. In her 1863 book of household management, Mrs Beeton devotes fifty pages to soup, ranging from the cheap and cheerful ‘Hodge-podge’ to turtle soup – ‘the most expensive brought to table’. Soup was always the first course at any meal, and in wealthier households was brought […]

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Kathleen’s Sterling Bequest

Kathleen Lyttleton-Taylor’s (nee Regan) gift of eighteen stunning pieces of historic silverware, made to the Tamworth Regional Gallery in 1963, includes the works of twelve accomplished Australian silversmiths. These makers originate from three different Australian states and backgrounds, which gives the collection mixed stylistic and personal influence. The work of William Edwards of Melbourne; Evan […]

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