The Company possesses one of the oldest and largest collections of plate in the City of London. Although much of the collection was sold to pay off debts in 1643, the Company has, over the centuries, continued to acquire plate, both by purchase and through the generosity of past members.
Our extant collection dates from the early seventeenth century and includes a number of important silversmiths including Richard Blackwell II, Samuel Courtauld, Eliza Godfrey and Omar Ramsden. Particular treasures include the rosewater dish, ewer and loving cup presented to the Company by Samuel Pepys, Master 1677-1678, the latter considered by Pevsner to be ‘perhaps the most magnificent cup in the City’.
Much of our plate is still used regularly, for its original purposes, and the collection is a growing one. We continue to commission pieces for ceremonial and functional use and our collecting policy is guided by the desire to build a representative collection of modern silver, by designers based in Britain. We are fortunate to include works by Gerald Benney, Christopher Lawrence, Jocelyn Burton, Rod Kelly, Jane Short, Lexi Dick and Hiroshi Suzuki in our collection.
For an overview of our collection, please see the booklet The Plate Collections of The Clothworkers’ Company
(2005) available for purchase on the Ordering Publications