The Nature of Silver

At this year’s Fair we are delighted to present an exhibition curated by the Goldsmiths’ Company Curator, Dr. Dora Thornton, on the Nature of Silver.

The exhibition of silver treasures from the Goldsmiths’ Company Collection puts the spotlight on innovative historic and contemporary silver inspired by nature.

Dr. Dora Thornton, Curator of the Goldsmiths’ Company Collection, has delved into the collection to create a fascinating special exhibition of rarely seen historic and contemporary silver. These unique treasures share organic and natural origins and challenge viewers’ ideas of the creative potential of precious metal. At the same time, each piece presented a unique challenge to craftsmen to innovate and adapt techniques to realise the final designs. This extraordinary display of creativity and expert craftsmanship serves as a reminder of what is possible when inspired artisans employ traditional and modern techniques to achieve their visions.


Louis Osman’s fantastical ‘Unicorn Horn Balance’, made from the horn of an Artic narwhal. The horns, which washed up on beaches, were traded to Europe as talismans, and were said to be horns of the mythical unicorn. Louis Osman’s fascinating balance was commissioned by the Goldsmiths’ Company in 1963. It recalls the role of the Assay Office in the testing of precious metals and the unicorn supported on the Company’s arms. Fitted with a rose quartz weight and jewelled counterweight, the piece combines modernist architectural rigour with medieval fantasy.



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