‘Stories in Sterling’ honors historic collection with top-quality exposé

This article was originally published in Antique Trader
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The New York Historical Society’s “Stories in Sterling” is the first comprehensive survey of the New York Historical Society’s silver collection. Collected for more than a century, it is touted as one of the finest in the world. Outstanding for its provenance, the 148 pieces cataloged in the book all were made or owned in New York from the 16th through the 20th centuries.

Stories in Sterling

Stories in Sterling, Four Centuries of Silver in New York,” by Margaret K. Hofer with Debra Schmidt Bach, New-York Historical Society/Giles Ltd., 2011, hardcover with dustjacket, 352 pages, $69.95. ISBN: 978-1-904832-65-2; www.gilesltd.com, 800-252-5231.

Kenneth Ames, one of the essayists within and Professor of American Decorative Arts and Material Culture of the 18th and 19th Centuries at the Bard Graduate Center in New York, aptly describes “Stories in Sterling” as “an engaging and informative compilation of stories about silver objects and about the lives, achievements and mores of past New Yorkers and others once associated with those objects.”

Hofer is Curator of Decorative Arts and Bach is Associate Curator of Decorative Arts at The New-York Historical Society. “Stories in Sterling: Four Centuries of Silver in New York” interprets The New-York Historical Society’s carefully curated silver collection within a cultural context, focusing on those who made, used and treasured them.

This book is a permanent reminder of not only these pieces of American treasure, but those who created and used them in centuries passed. Appendices include a fully detailed list of the Society’s current collection and a bibliography of frequently cited sources.
This exciting full-color book is beautifully designed and illustrated with large, clear photographs.

The writing is clear and diligently annotated; it would be an important addition to the library of those with interest in American history and historic silver alike; indeed, those searching out their New York heritage may even find some help within this fully indexed volume.

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