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Books - Silver - Silversmiths
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Silver - Silversmiths

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Teachers and Librarians


Book titles are in blue and underlined. Click on them to find out more about the books and how to buy them.
To retell any stories, obtain permission from the copyright holder if the material is not in the public domain.
In performance, always credit your sources.
Alphabetized for your convenience with short descriptions to save you research time.

American Silversmiths and Their Marks: The Definitive (1948) Edition (1948 Edition) by Stephen G.C. Ensko. (1983)
Scholarly directory of over 3000 early American silversmiths, 1650-1850, and their identifying marks. Perfect reference work for collectors. Biographical detail, shop locations given, plus 226 examples of silversmith's art in photographs. Introduction. Maps. Bibliography.

And Then What Happened, Paul Revere? (Paperstar) by Jean Fritz with margot Tomes (illus). (1996 - Ages 9-12)
Describes some of the well-known as well as the lesser-known details of Paul Revere's life and exciting ride.

Encyclopedia of American Silver Manufacturers (Schiffer Book for Collectors) by Dorothy T. Rainwater, Martin Fuller and Colette Fuller. (2003)
With more than 2300 marks illustrated and brief histories and cross-references of more than 1600 manufacturers, this is the most comprehensive reference source on the subject. To compile the information presented here, the authors devoted much time researching numerous sources. This fifth edition includes new trademarks, additional companies, and brings to date the many changes in company ownership during the last decade.

Midlife Crisis of Paul Revere (The) by Ian Fletcher. (2005 - Kindle Edition)
Paul Revere has achieved an enviable situation in life. He is doing well in his job. His children are grown and gainfully employed. He works, hunts, fishes and occasionally he and his wife, Gwen, make love. Life is good until Gwen develops a severe case of "Empty Nest Syndrome." All of a sudden she is dissatisfied with everything in her life, including her husband who doesn't "get it." Before he knows it they are separated and Paul's life is badly out of joint...

Mr. Revere and I by Robert Lawson. (1988)
An account of the life of the Revere family and the activities of the Sons of Liberty as told from the point of view of Paul Revere's horse.

Navajo and Pueblo Silversmiths, The (Civilization of the American Indian Series) by John Adair. (1989)
Reader: The book describes many facets involved in the creation of Pueblo Indian jewelry. This book is quite possibly the best and perhaps only scholarly work that explains jewelry making from the Indian perspective. The book gives much insight into the conditions on pre-1940 reservations and the trade practices that gave rise to "dead pawn" jewelry. This book is a must for serious collectors and those seeking thorough research.

Navajo Silversmiths (Studio Codex eBooks) by Dr. Washington Matthews and Dr. Carol K. Koemer. (2008 - Kindle Edition)
In this e-book we can benefit from the commentaries of Dr, Washington Matthews to learn about the initial development of silversmithing among the Navajo people. His monologue, originally published for the Smithsonian Institution's Bureau of Ethnology, gives us information about the simple working tools and techniques Navajo silversmiths used to create objects of utility and great beauty.

Paul Revere and the World He Lived In by Esther Hoslins Forbes. (1999)
"Goes straight to the heart of life in old Boston without sacrificing an iota of universal quality." (The New York Times )

Paul Revere's Ride (Step into Reading) by Shana Corey with Chris O'Leary (illus). (2004 - Ages 4-8)
The Redcoats are coming! The Redcoats are coming! Every second counts as patriot Paul Revere rides into the night to warn the colonists. Will he make it? Young readers will find out all about this real-life American hero in this fun, action-packed Step 3 reader.

Paul Revere's Ride by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow with Ted Rand (illus). (1996 - Ages 4-8)
"Listen, my children, and you shall hear/Of the midnight ride of Paul Revere ..." So begins one of the most stirring poems in American literature. Henry Wadsworth Longfellow wrote "Paul Revere's Ride" in 1861, nearly 100 years after the actual midnight ride that began on April 18, in 1775. The poem creates a suspenseful story as American colonist Paul Revere decides with his friend Robert Newman and others to avert a British attack on Concord, Massachusetts...

Paul Revere's Ride by David Hackett Fischer. (1995)
Paul Revere's midnight ride looms as an almost mythical event in American history--yet it has been largely ignored by scholars and left to patriotic writers and debunkers. Now one of the foremost American historians offers the first serious look at the events of the night of April 18, 1775--what led up to it, what really happened, and what followed--uncovering a truth far more remarkable than the myths of tradition.

Picture Book of Paul Revere (A) (Picture Book Biography) by David A. Adler with John Wallner and Alexandra Wallner (illus). (1997 - Ages 4-8)
Adler briefly traces his subject's life, covering the major points and important dates. He points out how Revere's famous etching of the Boston Massacre distorted what really happened in order to fan anti-British sentiment. The famous midnight ride is described, but not allowed to overwhelm the rest of the man's accomplishments.

Revolutionary Rumblings (Chester the Crab's comics with content series) (Chester the Crab's comics with content series) by Bentley Boyd. (2003 - Ages 9-12)
Chester Comix can teach history to reluctant readers! The full-color comic Revolutionary Rumblings traces the political and economic arguments leading up to the American Revolution: the French and Indian War, the Boston Tea Party, the Committees of Correspondence, the Continental Congress and Battle of Lexington and Concord. Jokes and action carry today's students through these hard nonfiction concepts. A timeline across the top of every page helps them place events and people in context.

Secret of Sarah Revere (The) by Ann Rinaldi. (2003 - Young Adult) (Paul Revere's daughter)
Thirteen-year-old Sarah Revere knows her father is a hero. But she also knows that Paul Revere guards a secret about the start of the Revolutionary War that he'll tell no one--not his new wife, not his best friend, not even his trusted daughter. It seems everyone in her family has secrets. Sarah's even got one of her own--and it's tearing her apart. Reader's guide included.

Silver Masters of Mexico, Hector Aguilar and the Taller Borda: Hector Aguilar and the Taller Borda by Penny C. Morrill. (1997)
Here is a magnificent presentation of the Mexican artisans and their creations displayed in 484 beautiful color photographs. The chapters present the master designers and silversmiths whose reputations have grown to international fame with an intimate look at one of the principal designers, Hctor Aguilar, and the personnel at this workshop. Valentin Vidaurreta, Los Castillo, William Spratling, Antonio Pineda, Hubert Harmon, Enrique Ledesma, and many more craftsmen are represented by their exquisite designs.

Silversmiths of North Carolina,1696-1860 by Mary R. Peacock. (2nd revised edition) (1984)
This is the second revised edition of Dr. George Barton Cutten's landmark 1948 book Silversmiths of North Carolina, 1696-1860. This new edition lists 273 silversmiths with a biographical sketch of each based on extensive use of primary and secondary sources. It includes 447 black-and-white illustrations of silver pieces and marks, a revised introduction, an increased number of notes, appendixes not in earlier editions, and a complete name and subject index. Covers to 1860.

Silversmiths to the Nation: 1808-1842 by Donald L. Fennimore. (2007)
Silversmiths to the Nation: Thomas Fletcher and Sidney Gardiner, 1808-1842 presents the first in-depth study of the celebrated silversmiths and their magnificent work. The firm these men established in Boston (1808-11) and Philadelphia (1811-42) revolutionised the significance of silver in America as a medium of public appreciation and introduced a new era in silver production. The grand presentation pieces Fletcher & Gardiner created for the heroes of the War of 1812 are without equal.

Silver Touch by Rosalind Laker. (1987 - YA)
When readers first meet 12-year-old Hester Bateman in 1720, she is newly orphaned and unable to read but adept at sketching birds and flowers. By the end of her life, she is an accomplished silversmith and a shrewd London businesswoman and the first Bateman to register her trademark as an independent silversmith. Readers of historical romances will relish the colorful story of Hester's marriage and many children. Keeps readers interested in the methods Bateman used to achieve her elegant and simple style in domestic silver.

Yogya Silver: Renewal of a Javanese handicraft by Pienke W.H. Kal. (2005)
Few detailed studies have appeared on the historical context of contemporary handicrafts in Indonesia since the publication of the standard work in five volumes by J. E. Jasper and Mas Pirngadie at the beginning of the twentieth century. One of these handicrafts is Yogya silver, a type of silverware that was developed in Yogyakarta (Yogya) and Kotagede, a small town southeast of this provincial capital. Yogya silver has been made for centuries, but thanks to the efforts of Dutch and Javanese promoters of decorative crafts, Yogya silver craft underwent a profound transformation in the early twentieth century.

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Online links are in blue and underlined. Click on them to get more stories and information.
Story titles are in quotation marks.
Short descriptions included for your convenience and to save you research time.
Silversmith - an 18th Century Trades Sampler from Colonial Williamsburg
"The Silversmith"
The Silversmith - Wikipedia definition.
Wedding Gifts (a joke).
Silversmith definition - 18th century.
Paul Revere was a silversmith
Paul Revere story (Stories of Spies and Letters)
Take the Money and Run
April/May 1775 -- Rachel Revere to Paul Revere (with great illustrations!)
"Jack and his Lump of Silver"
Collected by R. Rex Stephenson from Raymond Sloan. Originally published in Blue Ridge Traditions And in ALCA-Lines: Journal of the Assembly on the Literature and Culture of Appalachia, Vol. VI (Fall 1999): 6-7.
"The Pantacle" - A Teaching Story
Gary Dumbauld
The Silver Bell Mine.
"The Silver on the Hearth," a story from Afghanistan.
Renaissance Silver: Shining examples of the silversmith's art.
American History: "The Ringing of a Silver Bell" by Donna Flood.
"The Lady of the Silver Bell"

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Advice, Comments and References from Storytellers, Teachers and Librarians

(excerpts from Storytell posts plus original research)

Book titles and online links are in blue and underlined. Click on them to get more information.
Story and song titles are in quotation marks

To retell any stories, get permission from the copyright holder if the materials is not in the public domain.
In performance, always credit your sources.
Posts are added chronologically as they are received by Story Lovers World.

1) Don't forget:
Hans Brinker, or The Silver Skates (Dover Evergreen Classics) by Mary Mapes Dodge (reprint 2003 - Ages 4-8)
In another moment they were all laughing together, as hand in hand they flew along the canal, never thinking whether the ice would bear them or not, for in Holland ice is generally an all-winter affair. It settles itself upon the water in a determined kind of way, and so far from growing thin and uncertain every time the sun is a little severe upon it, it gathers its forces day by day and flashes defiance to every beam.

Broken down by chapters and Gretel

Set against a backdrop of frozen canals in a winter wonderland, the year's most exciting event in a little Dutch village is about to take place. But will Hans Brinker and his sister Gretel, with their hand-carved wooden skates, be able to compete against their well-trained young friends who own fine steel blades?

2) Margaret Read MacDonald's Storytellers Sourcebook: A Subject, Title, and Motif Index to Folklore Collections for Children (vol 1) lists six stories with silver in them, also a story of a silversmith. The Storytime Sourcebook II: A Compendium of 3,500+ New Ideas and Resources for Storytellers (vol 2) lists nine stories, but none with silversmiths.

3) Nathaniel Hawthorne's "The Pine-Tree Shilling." Silver, silversmith, and in the public domain - but not so much of a classic that you can't fiddle with it, if you wish.
Full text:

4) "Silver Bell," a story from A Book of Dwarfs by Ruth Manning-Sanders, New York, E.P. Dutton, 1969.

5) "Silver Penny", a story from A Book of Wizards by Ruth Manning-Sanders, New York, E.P. Dutton, 1967.

6) "Silver Maid" (Siberia), a story from The Sun Maiden and the Crescent Moon: Siberian Folk Tales (International Folk Tales Series): Siberian Folk Tales, edited by James Riordan.
In his new collection, Riordan provides an extensive ethnographic introduction, a glossary, and a (half-Russian) bibliography but little discussion of the specific tales included and no data on their collection. The tales themselves are polished without being too "literary." There are familiar types (e.g., hero and etiological tales) and themes (e.g., condemnation of human foolishness, greed, and selfishness).

7) For the little ones: This is from a teacher's site. 'In my class, at story time, I tell stories, usually fairytales, instead of reading. At the beginning of each story time we sing the same song. These are the words: Mother of the fairytale, take me by your silver hand. Sail me in your silver boat. Sail me silently afloat. Mother of the fairytale, take me to your shining land. This little song has a tune of its own and I am unable to write music, but the words and hand motions, modeled with reverence, have been proven very useful in my experience.

8) Bit of history:
Koksilah Silver Mine Location: Koksilah River, Duncan (and Cowichan Valley), B. C.
Date: 1973
Source: condensed from Lazeo, L. Lost treasure in British Columbia: A history of lost mines & buried or sunken treasure located in British Columbia (His Treasure book 3). Victoria, B. C.: L. Lazeo, 1973. 42. In 1885 the E & N Railway is being built from Victoria to Nanaimo. During its Cowichan Valley construction phase, alongside the Koksilah River, Bill Irvine, one of the railway's surveyors, is working late. He decides to take a short-cut back to camp via the River. While pushing his way through thick bush he misses his footing and plunges down into an old mine shaft. From the appearance of tools scattered about he estimates the mine to be some 200 years old. Twenty-two years later the piece of rock he has kept as a souvenir is analyzed and reported to be silver-bearing ore containing $350 of silver to the ton. Irvine returns to the area with his 20-year-old son only to find that the shaft and the area round it have been covered by a huge rock slide.


I am fairly positive I have found #24 on your list (silversmith stories), as has another fellow. I looked into this for the better part of a year, and it came to my attention, that the Koksilah River and the E&N only run near each other (to make this account feasible) for a very short way. A few kilometers maybe. Second, there are even fewer spots where he [ the surveyor ] could take a 'shortcut' along that stretch. That just leaves a place capable of producing a rock slide on top of that, and it really only leaves one location, which I walked to, and it seemed very plausible. After returning home, I looked at it on a topographic map from BC mines and energy, and found that the only hard rock mineral tenure in the area to be directly over the spot in question (the other fellow), suspicious. He has let his title expire this year, so I am going back to re-investigate. I will keep you updated.

Aaron E. 8/7/08

9) "The Gold Ax" and "The Silver Ax" (Korea).

10) All My Shining Silver Collection: Stories of Values from Around the World, retold by Barbara Baumgartner, illustrated by Amanda Hall.
"All My Shining Silver" (Ireland)
"Hadiyah and the Great Fish" (Mozambique)
"Awang and his Silver Flute" (Indonesia)
"The Danced-Out Shoes" (Russia)
"The Rainbow Horse" (Puerto Rico)
"Why Cat and Dog Are Not Friends" (Japan and Korea -- she has really interleaved the two different versions)

This companion to Baumgartner's Good as Gold & All My Shining Silver: Stories of Values From Around the World.(Review): An article from: Children's Digest (reviewed summer 1999) offers another helping of value-able world folktales whose exquisite illustrations are embellished with metallic ink. Even the end papers are silver. Perhaps the six tales are familiar, but Baumgartner gives some of them a fresh twist. The title tale, from Ireland, tells the old tale of the unkind/kind girls taking the forbidden long leather bag (of silver coins, of course) from the chimney, but it's the first version I've ever seen that explains how it got there: stolen from their own mother! After a soldier uses a silver twig and silver cup to prove how the princesses dance out their shoes -- only three princesses in this Russian version -- the king agrees to host weekly dance parties at home for them! Silver fish scales, a silver flute, silver apples and a silver ring play central roles in the other four stories (from Mozambique, Indonesia, Puerto Rico and Japan/Korea). Each one ends with a pithy admonition such as "Helping others brings its own rewards" or "Use your wits to gain your fortune." But Baumgartner wisely writes, "Even though a moral is printed at the end of each story, ask the children what they think is important about a tale, and they will share their own unique insights." Baumgartner urges adult readers to retell the stories in their own words, or at least to read with eye contact. She provides one primary source for each story. Amanda Hall's illustrations may not be geographically perfect (saguaro cactuses in Puerto Rico? curly tailed cats in Japan?) but they are delightfully detailed, lively, and aglitter with metallic ink that transforms the pages as they turn in the light. The book would make a handsome gift for a young story loving friend, or a treasure to share with a lapsitter.

11) Another version of "The Silversmith."
Looking through Storytell Magazine, I see the same parable, though a bit different, offered by our own William Wilder. It is his adaptation on page 27 in the November/December 2001 issue.

12) A story called Adventures of Juan Chicaspatas in which a magic tree gives him a goat that can shake silver out of his whiskers.
The best-selling Chicano novelist, author of the prize-winning Bless Me, Ultima, turns his pen to narrative poetry in this mock epic. Here the myths and history of Mexico and the Southwest are revised in this phantasmagoric marijuana dream peopled by gods, ghosts and, of all things, the neighborhood pachucos.

13) Walter de la Mare's poem, "Silver." I don't know if it is public domain or not, but it describes silvery things in beautiful language. (Note from JB: "Silver" was published in 1913 and therefore is in the public domain.)

Slowly, silently, now the moon
Walks the night in her silver shoon;
This way, and that, she peers, and sees
Silver fruit upon silver trees;
One by one the casements catch
Her beams beneath the silvery thatch;
Couched in his kennel, like a log,
With paws of silver sleeps the dog;
From their shadowy coat the white breasts peep
Of doves in a silver-feathered sleep;
A harvest mouse goes scampering by,
With silver claws, and silver eye;
And moveless fish in the water gleam,
By silver reeds in a silver stream.

Created 2005; last update 3/6/10

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