A British history of German silver: Part 1 - The discovery of nickel and development of nickel alloys, 1754-1823

Grant, Alistair (2016) A British history of German silver: Part 1 - The discovery of nickel and development of nickel alloys, 1754-1823. The Journal of the Antique Metalware Society, 23. pp. 58-79. ISSN 1359-124X

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Abstract

This essay, which will be published over two journals, traces the origins and development of the commercial manufacture of 'German silver’ (nickel silver) in Britain. Part 1 chronicles the scientific and commercial industrial development of the alloy in Sweden and Germany in the period 1754-1824. It traces Axel Fredrik Cronstedt’s discovery of nickel in 1754; Torbern Olaf Bergman’s subsequent confirmation of the discovery and refining of pure nickel in 1775; Gustav von Engeström’s blow-pipe analysis of the Chinese alloy paktong in 1776 and Ernst August Geitner’s first commercial manufacture of German silver under the trade name of Argentan from circa 1824. Part 2, to be published in Volume 24 of the Journal in 2016, will chronicle the development of the German silver industry and its commercial application to industrial art and design in Britain in the period 1829-1924, from Percival Norton Johnson’s foundation of Britain’s first nickel refinery and German silver manufactory on Bow Common and Hatfield Gardens in London in 1829 to Harry Brearley and W.H. Hatfield’s use of nickel in the development of ‘rustless’ and subsequently ‘stainless’ steel, between 1913 and 1924, which heralded the demise of Britain’s German silver industry in the post-war period.

Item Type: Article
Schools and Departments: School of History, Art History and Philosophy > Art History
Subjects: N Fine Arts > N Visual arts (General) For photography, see TR > N0400 Art museums, galleries, etc.
N Fine Arts > N Visual arts (General) For photography, see TR > N5300 History > N6350 Modern art > N6447 19th and 20th centuries
N Fine Arts > N Visual arts (General) For photography, see TR > N8600 Economics of art
N Fine Arts > NB Sculpture > NB1203 Special materials
N Fine Arts > NK Decorative arts
N Fine Arts > NK Decorative arts > NK1160 Decoration and ornament. Design
N Fine Arts > NK Decorative arts > NK3600 Other arts and art industries > NK6400 Metalwork
T Technology > T Technology (General) > T0010 Communication of technical information
T Technology > T Technology (General) > T0173.2 Technological change
T Technology > T Technology (General) > T0175 Industrial research. Research and development
T Technology > TN Mining engineering. Metallurgy
T Technology > TN Mining engineering. Metallurgy > TN0263 Mineral deposits. Metallic ore deposits. Prospecting
T Technology > TN Mining engineering. Metallurgy > TN0400 Ore deposits and mining of particular metals
T Technology > TN Mining engineering. Metallurgy > TN0600 Metallurgy
T Technology > TS Manufactures > TS0155 Production management. Operations management
T Technology > TS Manufactures > TS0200 Metal manufactures. Metalworking
T Technology > TT Handicrafts Arts and crafts > TT0205 Metalworking
Depositing User: Alistair Grant
Date Deposited: 27 May 2016 08:17
Last Modified: 07 Mar 2017 04:42
URI: http://sro.sussex.ac.uk/id/eprint/61172

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