Liang Yi Museum is pleased to present “Family Silver: Highlights from the Liang Yi Collection,” a landmark exhibition showcasing 150 sets of historic silver from the eighteenth to twentieth century, drawn solely from the Museum’s permanent collection. The largest of its kind in Hong Kong, the exhibition will showcase the heritage, design, and craftsmanship of this rare metal, explore the lineages of generations of silversmiths; and trace how silverware functions as family heirlooms.
Silver has long been used in the East and West, both as a type of currency and as canvas for extraordinary workmanship. This precious material has been praised for its beauty, intrinsic value, flexibility and durability for centuries. This exhibition provides a rare opportunity for audiences to explore the artistic, social and historical significance of the museum’s preeminent silverware collection.
“Family Silver” is divided into nine sections: lighting; writing; dining; display; toilette; coffee and tea service; alcohol service; vanities; and a special section dedicated to Asian silver. Highlight galleries include a recreated Chinoiserie reading room; a dining hall that illuminates the evolution of dining traditions in the West; and interactive galleries that teach visitors how to read hallmarks and coats of arms. Key exhibits include a pair of candelabra made in 1837 presented to Howe Peter Browne, 2nd Marquess of Sligo (1788-1845) by the slaves he emancipated in Jamaica; and a nineteenth-century silver-gilt tray with Napoleon I's coat of arms (1769-1821): both pieces are not only major artistic accomplishments in their own right, but also demonstrate the major historical events silver pieces have witnessed.
A fully illustrated catalogue edited by Liang Yi Museum and Daniel Roberts featuring over 200 highlight silver sets from the museum’s collection, with essays written by Christie’s Head of Silver, Harry Williams-Bulkeley; art historian Dr Joanna Longden; and French Empire silver specialist Dr Karolina Stefanski, will accompany the exhibition.
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