The Johnston Collection


This lecture is presented on-site at The Johnston Collection. Please see your ticket for details.

Panels, Lectures & Ideas

Event Details


Panels, Lectures & Ideas

Event Starts

Oct 26, 2022

Event Ends

Oct 26, 2022


The Johnston Collection


Please see your ticket for details.

In the 17th century tea and coffee were imported to England from foreign lands such as China and Arabia. The growing taste for tea and coffee prompted silversmiths to supply numerous elegant pieces of equipment with which to serve it.

In this lecture Matthew Lafite will introduce us to some of the key pieces from The Brookes Bequest that relate to the serving of tea and coffee as well as utensils used alongside: kettles, urns, sugar containers and tongs, cream and milk jugs, coffee biggins, and teaspoons that could all be fashioned from silver.

We will also learn about items used specifically with serving, consumption, and the pleasure of drinking alcohol. A strength of this collection is tankards.

MATTHEW LAFITE is a specialist in English, Irish and Scottish silver and a member of the London Association of Art & Antique Dealers and the Australian Antique Dealers Association. Matthew is approved to value English, Irish and Scottish silver dating from 1300 onward, for the Australian Government’s Cultural Gifts Program.

This lecture is supported by The Colin Holden Charitable Trust.

This lecture coincides with the exhibition SPLENDID and its accompanying publication which are supported by a specified fund established from the Estate of Mr. Clive Hele (Roger) Brookes.


Image: detail from Joseph Van Aken c.1699–1749
An English Family at Tea, England, circa 1720
oil paint on canvas | 994 × 1162 mm
collection of Tate Britain, London, N04500
presented by Lionel A. Crichton through the Art Fund 1930
Creative Commons

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