Prestigious Dining

Ornate silver soup tureen embellished with petal shapes, scrolls, and floral fittings, photographed on an angle

When it comes to design sensibilities today, I think many would describe this tureen as somewhat gaudy – particularly because any extravagant covered dish for serving soup would be a strange addition to modern dinner tables. However, this style of decorative art was once considered the height of refinement. Emerging from the salons of early […]

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Royal Expectations

Close up of a silver tankard embellished with leafy design

It is hard to know exactly how William Edwards (1819-1899) must have felt arriving to Melbourne in 1857. At the very least, he must have been slightly more comfortable than the average English traveller at the time. In an arrangement reserved only for noteworthy passengers, he had travelled in the chief cabin of the Blanche […]

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An Alchemical Ornament

Silver goblet etched with a placid illustration of a refinery

One step removed from the sweltering heat of the forge, smoke billows from a chimney between towering trees. Small figures are at work around the refinery – surveying, shoving, and squatting. Steep slopes of earth disappear into the distance of a spotless sky. This sterling silver goblet was made by William Edwards (1819-1899) and retailed […]

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Thrown Off a High Horse

Much can be learned about the 1863 ‘Geelong and Western Districts Hunt Club Cup’ through the punters alone: ‘The gentleman about the Bay View Hotel had either no opinions to back, no money to back them with, or no pluck to invest in it.’ Made by William Edwards, this silver claret jug would be the […]

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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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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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