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A Noble Pursuit

English Silver from the Rita Gans Collection at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts
Christopher Hartop. Preface by Ellenor Alcorn


BUY Paper · 88 pp. · 8.75 × 11.75 · ISBN 9780917046902 · $25.00 · Feb 2011

In 1997 Rita Gans generously gave the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts an outstanding array of English silver from the collection she and her late husband, Jerome, had amassed over some thirty years. Thanks to the munificent gift in 2010 of more stunning silver collected by her during the past thirteen years, the museum is home to one of the most important collections of English silver in the United States. Using examples from the Gans Collection, this book looks closely at the time-honored pursuit of the beautiful and rare in silver and charts the rise of antique silver collecting in Europe and America during the past three centuries. Many motives lie behind silver collecting, but more than an object’s beauty, scarcity, provenance, or historical significance, the main driving force is frequently the thrill of the chase.

Copublished by the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts and John Adamson

Distributed for the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts

About the Author: 

Christopher Hartop is the author of A Noble Feast: English Silver from the Jerome and Rita Gans Collection at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts and The Classical Ideal: English Silver, 1760-1840, among other works. Ellenor Alcorn is Associate Curator of European Sculpture and Decorative Arts at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, and was consulting curator for the Jerome and Rita Gans Collection of English Silver at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts. She is the author of English Silver in the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston and Beyond the Maker's Mark: Paul de Mamerie Silver in the Cahn Collection.

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