The Millennium Gallery is home to the Sykes Gallery Metalwork Collection displays, a dazzling showcase for the city’s internationally important collection of metalwork.
Sheffield is globally renowned for its association with high-quality metalwork and the industry continues to flourish today through innovative manufacturing and independent artisans and makers.
The displays present some of the 13,000 items that make up Sheffield’s metalwork collection, which is one of the most extensive groupings of Sheffield-made cutlery, flatware and hollowware in existence.
The gallery features both historic and contemporary work representing the light metals trades of Sheffield’s long-standing manufacturing and craft traditions. Highlights include a pair of large decorative 19th century silver and gilt exhibition scissors made by Frederick Ward & Company,
an Old Sheffield Plate turtle soup tureen from around 1800 and a wide range of items made by contemporary makers, including Chris Knight, Brett Payne and Kyoko Kumai. The collection also reflects the stories of generations of families who worked in the city and whose skills have contributed to its enormous success.
Sheffield’s metalwork collection largely comprises items for domestic use, such as cutlery and tableware. This includes table knives and flatware, and material for the export trade, such as Bowie knives, which were in common use during the expansion of the American West. The collection also spans domestic equipment, like razors and scissors, through to material illustrating different aspects of the cutlery trades, such as horn, pearl and ivory knife handles.
The gallery features both historic and contemporary work representing the light metals trades of Sheffield’s long-standing manufacturing and craft traditions.
Silver, electroplate, Britannia metal and Old Sheffield Plate pieces manufactured by well-known local firms are complemented by a wide range of comparative items drawn from Europe, Africa and Asia, including flint knives dating from 2500BC right up to high quality silverware and stainless steel made today.
In celebration of Goldsmiths North’s inaugural year, a monumental work in fine silver by visiting Belgian silversmiths Thalen & Thalen will be on display in the window of The Sykes Gallery – a testament to Sheffield’s prowess as a key destination for silversmiths and metalworkers all over the world