Assay Office Birmingham holds a substantial heritage collection reflecting its long history in Birmingham’s Jewellery Quarter. The collection was begun in the mid-1890s, with the purchase of silver items, originally to provide a record of early Birmingham date letters and town marks. The scope of the collection has since been expanded and now comprises over 1,700 silver items and coins and a library of 5,500 books relating to metal trades, the history of Birmingham and of the Assay Office.

The Silver Collection represents the Birmingham silver trade from the late 18th century onwards. It contains one of the largest collections of items produced by Matthew Boulton at his Soho Manufactory and a substantial collection of pieces by toy manufacturing families in Birmingham, such as the Willmores, Pembertons and Mills. As an excellent example of Birmingham’s industrial heritage, the Birmingham Assay Office Collection can be considered one of national and international significance.

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