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Miniature Silverware

By the late Middle Ages, the skill of silversmiths made it possible to create miniature works of art, essentially for religious purposes. It was from the 17th century onwards that miniature silverware acquired real importance, mainly in Holland, England and Germany.

These toys for children and adults can be divided into five main categories : 

  • Military figures and toys : princes had silver toys, and Louis XIV's silver soldiers, cannon and carriages were familiar.
  • Miniature tableware (less than 4cm) designed for the doll's houses that were so famous in the Netherlands. Larger pieces of tableware designed for children.  

  • Miniature pieces of furniture: in silver, mostly produced in Holland or England
  • Objects for display: objects designed for luxurious doll's houses. In the 19th century Fabergé acquired a world-wide reputation based on the quality and originality of his silver articles.

  • Models : miniature pieces of silverware that craftsmen presented in their display cases as models or which they sent as samples to distant foreign customers. Small models were produced by silversmiths for their own pleasure or as masterpieces.