For years, New Orleans has been an insider's secret for savvy antiques and silver collectors. This spring brings an extensive exhibit of rare silver, much of it sourced from Rau Antiques in New Orleans, called The Discerning Eye of the Collector: American and European Silver from the Granger Collection.
If candelabras and gargantuan silver sets can inspire awe and passion, and a look at the past, then this exhibit will enlighten silver collectors and those curious about antique royal and everyday silver from the reign of King George III (a silver service for 60) and American Colonial times. Rau Antiques, the country's leading antiques and fine arts dealer for 18th and 19th centuries, is a co-sponsor of this exhibit which opens April 10th at Kentucky's Headley-Whitney Museum.
Many of the stunning, commissioned, antique pieces in the collection were purchased by Gordon Granger and his wife from Rau Antiques over the years. Granger started his collection with the purchase of a 1854 Tiffany sterling silver tea set in 1998. From there, the hunt began for Gordon and his wife to seek out unique sets and pieces representing the world's most sought after and recognized silversmiths.
The Granger collection is vast and has been assembled in a relatively short time. It includes extraordinary examples from silversmiths like Paul Storr, Paul Revere, Hester Bateman (one of the only female silversmiths to rise to world acclaim) , and Paul de Lamerie. Many of these pieces have rarely been exhibited in public.
Some of the highlights from Rau Antiques in the collection are Paul Storr's silver-gilt centerpiece which weighs in at 640 ounces (20 pounds), a rare set of 12 Apostle Spoons dating from 1640, King George III's massive sterling set for 60 and dating from 1783, Paul Storr's candelabra and candlesticks.
For information on the Rau Antiques: www.rauantiques.com . For information on the exhibit: http://www.headley-whitney.org/upcoming_exhibitions.html