Series 1 - 1. Metalworks! - The Golden Age of Silver

Radio Times
Review by:
Geoff Ellis

Prepare for a dazzling display of Georgian silver as Dan Cruickshank examines how English silversmiths created glorious arrays on aristocrats’ dining tables. Of course there’s art history from the start but there’s much more, including trips to modern silversmiths.

Cruickshank is at his enthusiastic best investigating the conditions that created silvery status symbols. Huguenot craftsmen arrived in London, silversmiths doubled as bankers, changing dining styles led to decorative displays and technology brought silverplate to the masses. From Chatsworth’s shimmering table tops to a disused Birmingham factory, there’s lots to catch the eye, whether you’re a silver surfer or a TV magpie.

About this programme

1/3. In the first of three films exploring the importance of metals in British history, Dan Cruickshank charts the popularity of silver during the 18th and 19th centuries. He explains how it became regarded as a symbol of taste, wealth and status in Georgian and Victorian society, and visits locations around the UK to inspect some of the most notable examples of silverwork from the period.

Cast and crew


Dan Cruickshank


Janice Hopper
Executive Producer
Franny Moyle