Silver & Gold: Unique Australian objects 1830–1910 is a National Gallery of Australia Exhibition showcasing exceptional nineteenth and early twentieth century Australian silver and gold objects.
Drawn from the National Gallery of Australia’s significant collection of colonial decorative arts and design, this is a rare chance to see them for free at the Ipswich Art Gallery.
The theme of this exhibition is celebration, with objects marking significant personal, community and professional achievements and milestones, or displays of prosperity and artistic accomplishment.
On show are objects made by silversmiths who worked across the country, including Alexander Dick, David Barclay, Henry Steiner, William Edwards, Edward Fischer, John J Cohen and Jochim Matthias Wendt. These silversmiths worked in a range of historical revival and contemporary styles.
While British and European aesthetics and traditions pervade the early silverware created in Australia, local styles emerged as a national consciousness developed and became more pronounced towards Federation.
Many of the objects reflect the nationalist fervour of the late nineteenth century, embodying the ideas of nation-building through honouring the individual worker achieving excellence, the heroic sportsman and celebrating Australia’s unique flora and fauna.
Henry Steiner Pendant/brooch and pair of ear pendants set, in fitted case c.1870
18 carat gold, seed pearls, diamonds. National Gallery of Australia, Canberra. Purchased 2012
Henry Steiner, Emu egg claret jug c 1875
Sterling silver: raised, stamped, repousse, chased; emu egg: mounted National Gallery of Australia, Canberra, purchased 2014
Unidentified silversmith Lola Montez Brooch;1855
Australia gold, rubies National Gallery of Australia, Canberra, purchased 2014
Unidentified Australian silversmith Cobar Champion Sheep Dog Trial trophy collar;1884
Engraved silver National Gallery of Australia, Canberra, purchased 2008