Highlight

15th February 2008 at 00:00
If you're after an exhibition with a "wow" factor, look no further than the Royal Museum in Edinburgh where Silver: Made in Scotland is running until April 27.

This gorgeous show marks the 550th anniversary of hallmarking in Scotland and celebrates the outstanding craftsmanship and artistry of Scottish silversmiths. More than 350 pieces of the finest examples of Scottish silver, dating from the 1600s to the present day, have been brought together for the first time for this exhibition - the last to take place in the Royal Museum before it closes for refurbishment.

Set against a glitzy backdrop of silver fabric, the gleaming exhibits have been arranged thematically to tell the story of the creation and use of silver in Scotland, with displays covering pieces made for important sporting and ceremonial events and for domestic and religious purposes.

Highlights include a suit made from pure silver cloth for the Duke of Lennox in 1661; silver jewellery enamelled by Phoebe Anna Traquair and a metre-high model of the Scott Monument made from 446 ounces of silver. Dress designer Alexander McQueen had an absinthe goblet and spoon specially made (photographed by Sharon Tofts).

There is an excellent, seven-minute flat screen presentation showing the work of the Assay Office in Edinburgh, the only place in Scotland where precious metals can be assayed (tested) and independently hallmarked. Nearby is a recreation of Edinburgh's historic Goldsmith's Hall, complete with an actual goldsmith's workbench dating from the 19th century.

Visitors can have a go at "cracking the hallmark code" by trying to figure out which silver spoons, egg cups, beer mugs, pepper pots, spice boxes, table bells and wine funnels were made in which Scottish burgh.

The exhibition - free to education groups who book in advance - ends with a wonderful display of quirky 21st-century silver, made by Scotland's most accomplished silversmiths for some of the country's best-known celebrities.

T 0870 421 4299

www.nms.ac.uksilver.

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