More than 1,400 pieces on show during private collection course.

The Birmingham Assay Office’s (BAO) silver collection will be unveiled to the public throught its new silver course, with more than 1,400 pieces by some of the most important designers and manufacturers in the history of silver set to be on show.

The new course has been developed after the BAO run a bespoke visit to the Assay Office for Halls Fine Art in Shrewsbury, which took place in December 2011.


The course will provide professional valuers, auctioneers and curators with a better understanding of historical silverware and design.

The Behind the Scenes course will be delivered by Craig O’Donnell, the Assay Office’s curator and Sally Hoban, its Heritage and Training officer.

Michael Allchin, chief executive and Assay Master at the BAO said: ‘We are enormously proud of our silver collection and library. We have developed this new course to extend our current education programmes and to continue to open up our collection to new audiences.

“The Assay Office is not usually open to the public, so this course will give delegates a rare opportunity to see behind the scenes and to examine pieces from our collection.”

Allchin added that there “is no better way to learn about the history of styles and materials in the decorative arts than by actually handling and examining pieces.”

The courses can also be tailored to meet the requirements of individual delegates depending on which pieces they would like to see and which periods in the history of silver they would like to learn about.

The initial course dates for Monday June 25th, Wednesday July 11th and Tuesday November 20th and each course will be open to small groups of four to six delegates.