Made for the Table


  • Exhibition of over 70 pieces of extraordinary silver from the world-renowned Goldsmiths’ Company collection, exploring the evolution of tableware from 1600s to today
  • Accompanied by a curated showcase of contemporary work by the UK’s leading artisans as well as twenty handcrafted bespoke beakers commissioned by the Goldsmiths’ Centre 

The Goldsmiths’ Centre presents Made for the Table, a free exhibition exploring the evolution of silver tableware and dining conventions from the 1600s to the present day. Celebrating the work of contemporary silversmiths, Made for the Table features silverware from the exquisite collection of the Goldsmiths’ Company acquired over the last five centuries, in dialogue with the work of acclaimed artisans in furniture, glass, ceramics and textiles. 

From serving dishes to cutlery, sculptural bread baskets to wine coasters, domestic silver and tableware continues to be the focal point of our table settings. Despite changes in dining habits and social etiquette, as well as taste and style, the exhibition explores how silversmiths continue to be inspired to make extraordinary handmade objects. Considering the influence of function on design and the intimate connection to the user that inspires silversmiths today, Made for the Table demonstrates both a continuation of silversmithing techniques throughout history and a break in tradition through contemporary innovation and new technologies.


At the heart of the gallery and in dialogue with the Goldsmiths’ Company collection, is a bespoke table, laid ready for a dinner party with hand-crafted silver, modern glass, fine ceramics and textiles. Visitors are invited to a feast for the eyes, showcasing newly commissioned silverware from cutlery, beakers to candlesticks by leading makers such as Michael Lloyd, Malcolm Appleby, Jane Short, Angela Cork and Miriam Hanid, amongst Ptolemy Mann textiles and Vezzini and Chen hand-blown glass.

Surrounding the table in accompanying displays, the extraordinary silver collection acquired by the Goldsmiths’ Company over centuries contextualises the continuation of technique and innovation in the treatment of silver throughout history. Arranged in four themes - flavour, light, dine and drink - from functioning silverware to illuminate the table to pieces for ceremonial use, the displays showcase the Goldsmiths’ Company’s long history of patronage. 

The collection examines techniques used by makers for centuries such as hand-forging explored by contemporary silversmith Rebecca De Quin, who uses the same technique in her cutlery employed by makers on display dating from 1627, to the social importance of tableware exemplified in 16th century ornate salt cellars showcased alongside contemporary works such as Adi Toch’s Pinch of Salt bowl (2010) commenting on precious commodities throughout history. 

Capturing the works by contemporary makers through film and photography under the art direction of AVM Curiosities, the display is accompanied by Rosalind Atkinson’s series The Silverware Still Lives inspired by 17th century dutch painting, balancing a bounty of fruit and flora with the modern silverware designs on display. In addition, films of contemporary makers Rebecca De Quin and Miriam Hanid explore their individual practices and an ambient soundscape, Silverware 7 by Mee, vividly brings to life the making process through recording silverware as percussion and the atmospheric sounds of master silversmiths. 


In the Goldsmiths’ Centre’s Atrium alongside the exhibition, visitors can view a curated showcase bringing together work by 37 of the UK’s leading makers including Angela Cork, Rebecca de Quin, Adi Toch and Miriam Hanid and Yusuke Yamamoto. Their designs in silver, glass, ceramic and textile exemplify the very best in contemporary tableware.

In addition, twenty beakers have been commissioned by the Goldsmiths’ Centre especially for the show and are available to buy. Each silversmith has imaginatively responded to the theme ‘old and new’ in developing a unique design from a spun form, to create a one of a kind drinking experience. From designs inspired by the gin making process to sunrise and sunset, the diversity of responses, all taking the same spun form as their starting point, illustrates the extraordinary range of design and making skills practiced by emerging makers today. 

Georgia Powell, Assistant Curator of the Goldsmiths’ Company, says: “Made for the Table is truly a celebration of techniques, inspiration, and exquisite craftsmanship. It reflects the Goldsmiths’ Company’s unique and continued patronage of domestic pieces made to be used and enjoyed. By drawing comparisons between historic and contemporary pieces, the exhibition helps contextualise the outstanding work of makers working in Britain today.”

The exhibition is also accompanied by a programme of talks and events, more information below. 

Image credit: Malcolm Appleby, ‘Slashed’ Beaker, 2004, Silver, gilt interior Sawn, slashed and soldered, burnished parcel-gilt finish. 
The Silverware Still Lives (2017) Photo - Rosalind Atkinson, Art Direction - Tasha Marks 

For further information and high resolution images please contact: 
Emma Collins on +44 7557142630 or email

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Notes to Editors

Made for the Table
13 July - 31 August 2018
The Goldsmiths’ Centre
42 Britton Street
London EC1M 5AD

Nearest station: Farringdon
Opening Hours: Monday–Friday, 9am–6pm. Admission is free.

The exhibition will then tour to Osterley Park and House (05 November 2018 - 24 February 2019). 


Tue 17 July 2018
6pm – 8.30pm, £10 (includes a welcome drink of Sipsmith gin)
Exhibition Room 

Today silversmiths continue to be inspired to make beautiful decorative objects for the table. Join Adi Toch and Rebecca de Quin in conversation with Georgia Powell, Curator of the exhibition Made for the Table, as they look at the evolution of design and craft techniques. During this evening event, they will take a closer look at contemporary silversmithing work and historic pieces from the Goldsmiths’ Company world-renowned silver collection and see how the vessel has transformed its meaning and design over the past 400 years. 

Adi Toch was shortlisted in 2017 for The Loewe Craft Prize and won a 2017 Wallpaper* Design Award. Her works can be seen in collections at the Victoria and Albert Museum, the Crafts Council UK, the Goldsmiths’ Company, Fitzwilliam Museum Cambridge, National Museums Scotland, National Museum of Wales and the Jewish Museum New York. A graduate from The Cass, London in 2009, and a visiting lecturer at Bezalel Art Academy in Jersualem, her work is exhibited internationally and has won prestigious awards including a Gold Award from The Goldsmiths’ Craft and Design Council UK in 2013.

Rebecca de Quin has been shown in major exhibitions at home and internationally and she is represented in several major UK collections including the Crafts Council, Birmingham Museum and the Goldsmiths’ Company. She was appointed to the RCA’s department of Goldsmithing, Silversmithing, Metalwork and Jewellery as a tutor in 1998. Rebecca acquired her current London studio in 2002, in order to extend her silversmithing practice and to provide workspace opportunities for other silversmiths and jewellers.

Thu 30 August 2018
6pm – 8pm, £10 (includes a welcome drink of Sipsmith gin) 
Exhibition Room

Drawing on the richness of contemporary evidence, including an unpublished 16th century Feast Book, Hazel Forsyth, Senior Curator at the Museum of London, explores the eating habits of early modern Londoners from simple ale-house
About The Goldsmiths’ Centre 

The Goldsmiths’ Centre is the leading charity for the professional training of goldsmiths. Founded by the Goldsmiths’ Company in 2007, it is a charitable enterprise with a specific purpose: “To advance, maintain and develop art, craft, design and artisan skills, including in particular but without limitation, those pertaining to goldsmithing.” It does this by 

• Providing managed workspace, education and training for public benefit 
• Fostering promoting and extending public interest in art, craft, design and artisan skills 
• Providing a knowledge base and community for those engaged or interested in these skills 

For further information on the Goldsmiths’ Centre, visit 

T: @GsmithCentre
I: @GsmithCentre
F: The Goldsmiths’ Centre

About The Goldsmiths’ Company 

One of the major Livery Companies of the City of London, the Goldsmiths’ Company received its first Royal Charter in 1327. The Company’s London Assay Office has been responsible since 1300 for testing the quality of precious metals. The Company is the principal patron of contemporary jewellers and silversmiths in the UK, continuing to play an important role in support of the craft, funding apprenticeships and assisting with the technical training of aspiring designer-makers. The Company supports a wide range of other charitable causes and pursues a number of educational projects with schools. 

For more information, visit and tavern fare to lavish feasts in Livery Company Halls in reference to the silver items displayed in Made for the Table.