The Goldsmiths’ Company is holding a major exhibition of English Church silver, under the patronage of the Archbishop of Canterbury. ‘Treasures of the English Church: Sacred Gold and Silver from 800-2000′ opens at Goldsmiths’ Hall on Friday May 30 and runs until Saturday July 12. Admission is free.
This will be the first such exhibition on a national scale for more than half a century. Approximately 400 works dating from the pre-medieval period to the present day will be displayed over two floors at Goldsmiths’ Hall. The exhibition is designed to assume an appropriately ecclesiastical atmosphere to complement the gravitas of the subject matter.
One of the important themes of the exhibition is the role of the church as preserver of objects that would otherwise almost certainly have ended up in the melting pot during the Civil War or at any other time simply through changes in fashion.
Lenders to the exhibition include many of the country’s grandest cathedrals, among them Canterbury, York and Lichfield, along with Oxford and Cambridge college chapels and St George’s Chapel, Windsor. The majority of exhibits, however, come from parish churches up and down the country in whose possession an extraordinary number of medieval and later treasures remain. Surprisingly, several pre-Reformation chalices and patens are still in regular use.
Friday May 30 to Saturday July 12, 2008
Venue: Goldsmiths’ Hall, Foster Lane, London EC2V 6BN
Tel: 020 7606 7010
Opening times: Monday to Saturday 10.00am to 5.00pm
Transport: Underground: St Paul’s, Mansion House, Barbican
Buses: Routes 8, 11, 25, 100, 242, 501
Find out more about the exhibition and see some images of the treasures