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Renaissance and Baroque Silver, Mounted Porcelain and Ruby Glass

Renaissance and Baroque Silver, Mounted Porcelain and Ruby Glass


Silver, porcelain and ruby glass seem unlikely bedfellows, yet the objects in the Zilkha Collection are all united by the medium of silver or luxury metalwork. The objects were also made, for the most part, over about a century and a half. All of them tell a fascinating story of the particular circumstances that produced them: a maker, a workshop, a patron. They also tell the wider story of the society that made them necessary or desirable; the science that made them possible; and of their survival down the centuries. Therefore their appeal is more than just aesthetic, and their design and decoration often speak of the intellectual or religious climate of their time. Some objects incorporate exotic materials such as Indian mother of pearl reflecting the developing world trade; others encapsulate emerging technologies such as the making of ruby glass or porcelain.


Yet, this is not a museum collection nor is it displayed like one. It is lived with and shares its surroundings with its owners and their guests. It is not kept behind glass and the juxtapositions are sometimes odd but always engaging: Renaissance silver was not conceived – quite obviously – to sit on great eighteenth-century French furniture, nor Hanoverian royal plate to share space with Italian sculpture and contemporary paintings, yet somehow these pairings work without in any way diminishing the objects.


This book, which will be of interest to serious students of the decorative arts, has a wider purpose too: it aims to show something of these old objects in the context of an early twenty-first-century Californian home and in the lives and interests of the collectors who have brought them together.

  • Timothy Schroder

    Renaissance and Baroque Silver, Mounted Porcelain and Ruby Glass from the Zilkha Collection


    April 2012

    376 pages, 280 x 240 mm

    hardback, 475 illustrations
    ISBN: 978 1 907372 35 3

  • About the author

    Timothy Schroder joined the silver department at Christie's in 1976 and became curator of decorative arts at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art in 1984, returning to England in 1989. Subsequent roles include Curator of the Gilbert Collection at Sommerset House and Consultant Curator at the Victoria and Albert Museum. He is a fellow of the Society of Antiquaries and a liveryman of the Goldsmiths' Company as well as a member of the London Diocesan Advisory Committee and chairman of the Silver Society. His  publications include: Renaissance Silver from the Schroder Collection (2007) and British and Continental Gold and Silver in the Ashmolean Museum (2009).

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