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V&A Silver Exhibition Heads for Auction at Bonhams

Fancy picking up a piece of the V&A’s contemporary British silver exhibition?

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If you were impressed by the Silver Speaks: From Idea to Object exhibition at the V&A, you’re in luck. Special commissions from the show are to be sent straight to auction as part of Bonham’s Decorative Art Sale. Missed the show at the V&A? This could be the silver lining you’re looking for…

Animus by Kevin Grey

Animus by Kevin Grey © Sophie Mutevelian

V&A ‘Silver Speaks’ Pieces up For Auction at Bonhams

Works from the Silver Speaks: From Idea to Object exhibition at the V&A will form part of Bonham’s Decorative Art and Design Sale in London on 27 September. The show was curated by design critic Corinne Julius, and organised by Contemporary British Silversmiths to mark its 20th anniversary.

The exhibition showcased the very best of British silver design and craft, and the upcoming sale will mark the first collection of contemporary silver to come to auction straight from a major museum show.

Key Pieces from the Silver Speaks Show

Potential buyers should keep their eyes peeled for the following lots at the Bonhams sale.

Animus by Kevin Grey. Est: £58,000-62,000

In the centrepiece, Grey, three times holder of the Goldsmiths’ Company Crafts and Design Council award, uses cutting edge technology to explore the idea of ‘a continuous revolving thought, which demands total absorption until the solution is found’. The artist ‘works directly with the material, making no preliminary drawings, but hand-forming strips of silver, TIG welding them together and confronting complex technical issues as they arise’.

Ice Windows by Clive Burr. Est: £45,000-50,000

This bowl by Clive Burr has additional work by Jane Short was inspired by ‘childhood memories of the coast in wintertime’. A hugely personal piece, the bowl ‘recalls hours spent looking out to sea, watching the ever-changing blues of the ocean and the sky and the gentle curve of the horizon’. The bowl was ‘spun into shape, with lines added mechanically, and the windows were enamelled by Jane Short’.

Waves by Nan Nan Lui. Est: £12,000-14,000.

This sculpture reflects Lui’s fascination with water and its unpredictability, Waves is one of a number of works that demonstrates the appeal of ‘shapes and repetitive patterns in nature’. Lui ‘works from photographs of moving water, then layers paper to create three dimensional forms before building up single layers of silver, allowing the form to assume a life of its own’.

‘We are very excited that Contemporary British Silversmiths have chosen Bonhams to offer pieces from this important V&A exhibition. The ground-breaking show reminded us of Britain’s long and distinguished history at the forefront of silver design, and demonstrated it was in safe hands for the future.’ – Bonhams Head of Silver, Ellis Finch


27 September, Bonhams Knightsbridge; for more information

Check out our round-up of the best current exhibitions in London