Greenock Provinicial Silver
Silverware production was an important craft industry in Greenock in the late eighteenth and nineteenth centuries with a variety of wares being produced by local silversmiths. The local production of silver finished once hallmarking became centralised outwith Inverclyde in 1836.
The collection contains a wide range of pieces including teaspoons, sugar tongs, wine labels, serving trays, ladles, cups and a yachting trophy. There are pieces of undoubted quality and skill, the most important of them being John Heron’s trophy for the Northern Yacht Club Challenge Race of 1828. The collection also contains pieces by Jonas Osborn, John Taylor, William Clark and Nathaniel Hunter.
These items are not only fine examples of of the craft and design talents of local silversmiths skill, they also contribute to our understanding of Greenock’s history in the eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries when the town was transformed from a small fishing village to a thriving trading town capable of supporting artists and craftsmen.
The Decorative Arts Collection includes Scottish, British and European decorative metalwork in a variety of metals. These items date from the seventeenth century onwards. Many of the items were made for ecclesiastical use and several of these have Inverclyde connections and provenances. Other items were made for domestic use.
Much of the collection is made of base metals such as pewter and there are also items made of Sheffield Plate and electroplate. Many of these items were collected primarily for their historical relevance and not as examples of outstanding craftsmanship. They include tankards, plates, teapots, jugs, salvers, communion jugs and church collection plates.