Thursday 13 Sept 2018
Event 1 – 1.30pm to 2.30pm, Event 2 – 3.30pm to 4.30pm
Exploring the Private Collections of Assay Office Birmingham
The Assay Office Birmingham, Icknield Street B18 6RZ
A rare opportunity to visit the new Assay Office to appreciate key items from their Private Collections under the expert guidance of curator Craig O ‘Donnell who will deliver a brief introductory talk. The displays of silver demonstrate the diversity of Boulton’s manufactory, the impressive output from Elkington & Co, and the importance of Birmingham in the Arts and Crafts movement. The ingenuity of Birmingham manufacturers in changing their product mix to keep up with fashion and social trends is evident in the variety of small items – Birmingham “toys” – ranging from vinaigrettes and snuff boxes, through name brooches to cigarette cases.
After the introduction guests will be able to peruse the displays at their leisure and also view some of the original archives and ledgers of the Assay Office which are not usually accessible to the public. Further displays in the foyer explain the history of this important Birmingham institution and its development over the past 245 years. Visitors will also be among the first to appreciate the impressive “Guardian Timepiece” recently installed above the foyer.
A unique collaboration between Birmingham’s most gifted metalworkers and academics has created this stunning 21st Century piece which embraces art and science and celebrates the enduring innovation, creativity and skill for which the Jewellery Quarter is so famous.
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