The New York Historical Society presents Stories in Sterling: Four Centuries of Silver in New York, which features 150 prime silver objects selected from the Society’s 3000 piece collection that tell the tales of significant New York moments. The exhibition pieces span across the sixteenth to the twentieth centuries and encompasses objects as embellished as the trophy above, which was presented in 1910 to champion balloonist Alan R. Hawley for his record-breaking flight across the U.S., to household objects as simple as the teaspoon below, which may be the partial work of a slave assistant known as Jasper who worked in the shop of official maker, John Hastier. Like many other New York silver objects, it bears witness to the untold contributions of countless unnamed slaves.
Like the examples above, each object in the exhibition is uniquely positioned within its cultural context and speaks to the history of silver patronage as well as the evolution of the meaning and usage of silver over time. The exhibition also presents a wealth of manuscripts, paintings, furniture and other supporting artifacts that illuminate the physical context of the silver pieces. This exhibition is on view from May 04-September 23, 2012 at the New York Historical Society. Visit the Current Exhibitions page to learn more.