Susan Hunter delivered the New York Silver Society Lecture on Tuesday, October 6, 2015. Her talk is entitled “Case Study: Sir Thomas Hanmer’s Silver Gilt Sideboard in the Collection of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York.”

Ms. Hunter’s New York Silver Society Lecture examines an English silver gilt sideboard dish that once belonged to Sir Thomas Hanmer, 4th baronet and Speaker of the House of Commons in 1713-1714. Now in the collection of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, the dish offers a case study of the opportunities and challenges of researching late seventeenth- and early eighteenth-century English silver. The dish’s similarity to perquisites given at the coronation of Queen Anne took Susan to the Jewel House records at the National Archives at Kew to try to determine when and for what purpose Hanmer’s dish was made. This in turn led her to a better understanding of the industrialization of silver manufacture in the eighteenth century as well as the various factors that can be utilized in determining the date, purpose, and social symbolism of silver at this period.

Susan Hunter is an MA candidate at Bard Graduate Center and Associate Director of Appraisal at Winston Art Group, a New York City-based art appraisal and advisory firm. An adjunct instructor at New York University’s School of Professional Studies in the Appraisal Studies Program in Fine and Decorative Art, Ms. Hunter has over 20 years of appraisal and auction house experience, starting her career as a furniture specialist at Sloan’s Auction House outside of Washington, D.C., before moving to Sotheby’s New York, where she was a decorative arts specialist. She holds a Bachelor of Arts from Duke University and a Certificate in Appraisal Studies from New York University. A certified member of the Appraisers Association of America and a member of its education committee, Ms. Hunter specializes in American, English, and Continental decorative arts and in twentieth-century and contemporary design. She enrolled at Bard Graduate Center to develop an academic and theoretical knowledge of material culture to complement her practical work experience. While here she has studied eighteenth- and nineteenth-century English and European furniture and decorative arts and has developed an interest in the convergence of art, religion, and natural science during the medieval and early modern periods, which she plans to pursue in her Qualifying Paper next year.