Sales of important collections such as the Earl of Harewood’s in 1965, Sir William Butler’s in 1968 and Mrs Faye Plohn’s in 1970, released stunning riches of Regency silver and silver-gilt onto the market. My late great uncle Jacques Koopman recognised the great potential that lay in the beauty and workmanship of Regency silver and it is Jacques who can be credited with inspiring an entire generation of silver collectors to appreciate the beauty of this sculptural silver.
This tradition built up by Jacques and my late father Michael, is continued by my partner, Lewis Smith and I. As directors of Koopman Rare Art we operate London’s pre-eminent antique silver dealers from our extensive premises in Chancery Lane. Koopman Rare Art have been members of the British Antique Dealers Association for many years and in 2004 were awarded the British Antique and Collectables Award for Specialist Dealer.
Items as simple as a single tea pot, a decorative centrepiece or a dining room object can enhance your home. On our website you will find such items together with objects of vertu, such as items by Cartier or Faberge, magnificent gold boxes, Viennese enamels and micromosaics - little gems that would lift anyone's spirit. Indeed if you are looking to purchase, sell or further your knowledge in any of these specialist fields please feel free to contact us. However, there is nothing quite like handling and seeing these delights in person and we cordially invite you to visit our premises in Chancery Lane or one of our shows.
Over the years we have built up some of the most important private collections of silver. We have worked closely with museums, both here in England and internationally. In 2014, The Victoria and Albert Museum acquired from us a Royal Christening gift of George II, presented to his God daughter. Also worthy of note and enabled by the Mrs Patricia Hurst Bequest Fund, Leeds Museums and Galleries, Temple Newsam House, acquired from us a wonderful Elizabethan silver-gilt cup and cover made in London in 1578 by Afabel Partridge. It has an extremely interesting history and provenance, having been owned by the great collector J.P. Morgan and exhibited as early as 1862.
Other museums we have worked with include The Ashmoleam Museum, The Victoria & Albert Museum, The Metropolitan Museum in New York, The Mint Museum in North Carolina, The Fogg Museum in Massachusetts, The Indianapolis Museum of Art, The Minneapolis Institute of Art, The Los Angeles County Museum of Art, The Museum of Fine Arts Boston, The Museum of Fine Arts Houston, The Portland Art Museum in Oregon, The St Louis Art Museum in Missouri, The South Australian Museum of Art in Adelaide, The Manchester Art Galleries and the National Army Museum in London.
We have also hosted exciting loan exhibitions here at our gallery. In 2005 our Rundell Bridge and Rundell Exhibition in aid of the Princes’ Trust charity, included eight royal loans from Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. In 2010 Koopman Rare Art mounted The Classical Ideal Exhibition in association with the Sir John Soane Museum. Their surviving collection of distinguished drawings by the most esteemed architects and designers was a rare opportunity to display original architect’s drawings alongside the silversmith’s masterpieces. With thanks to all of the private and public lenders who made the exhibition as successful as it could have been. In October 2015 Art In Industry: The Silver of Paul Storr provided a great insight into Paul Storr's achievements and the book sponsored by ourselves aided the Victoria & Albert's acquisitions fund. These exhibitions provide a forum for collectors, curators and dealers alike to exchange ideas and compare knowledge.