Friday, November 17, 2006

A Truly Great Silver Book-

This week we are releasing our new "Books on American Silver and Silversmiths" catalog, and have we got a bargain for you!

"COLONIAL MASSACHUSETTS SILVERSMITHS AND JEWELERS. A biographical dictionary based on the notes of Francis Hill Bigelow & John Marshall Phillips"

By Patricia Kane. Published by Yale University Art Gallery in 1998.

A book almost a hundred years in the making, and quite simply the most important book on American silversmiths since Belden’s study of the Ineson-Bissell Collection at Winterthur. Pioneering collector and scholar Francis Hill Bigelow died before his notes, for a proposed Magnum Opus on Massachusetts silversmiths, could be completed and made into book form.

John Marshall Phillips, Curator of the Garvan Collection at Yale, took over the project and added to the research, but his untimely early death once again stopped the study in its tracks. Finally, in the 1980s, Patricia Kane and her colleagues, working from the original notes, embarked on a project to complete this ultimate reference, now published here in all its massive glory.

There are biographies of 296 silversmiths and jewelers who worked in Massachusetts before the American Revolution, along with 93 craftsmen in allied trades. Kane’s preface chronicles the ninety-two years of research and scholarship that went into the book, and her essay focuses on the creative ferment in Boston. Barbara McLean Ward’s essay describes the tools of the trade. Gerald W. R. Ward discusses the differences between metropolitan and rural silversmiths.

The ‘New York Silver Society Newsletter’ called this a “masterful accomplishment … and a source book that will well serve the next generations of gold, silver, and jewelry historians.” Our Book Elves at Joslin Hall simply describe the book as “damned heavy”.

Hardcover. 8.5”x11.5”, 1,241 pages; marks, dj. New. [90139]

This book was published at $150.00 and was a bargain at that price, but for a limited time we have a carton or two of Publisher's Overstock copies to sell for only $75.00 each!

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