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The Dallas Museum of Art: A Top Tip for Silver Collectors

by Jerome Weeks 2 Aug 2010 1:03 PM

The show, ‘Collective Intelligence,’ on OvationTV advises silver collectors to pay attention to the Dallas Museum of Art, “the pre-eminent museum in the field.” High praise: The short video (it’s a round-up of tips) even describes the DMA as “very alert to this sort of stuff.”


OK, so it’s an oldie but a goodie.

OvationTV, the arts and entertainment cable channel, is repeating a program called Collective Intelligence about — what else? — collecting. CI offers shopping and buying and hoarding tips for happy obsessives, and the program that airs tomorrow, Tuesday at 12:30 p.m., is on shiny, shiny silverware.  A fitting topic for North Texans, given Nelson Bunker Hunt’s infamous (and failed) attempt in 1980 to control the market.

Some of CI’s top 10 tips on silver aren’t exactly insider secrets (“#7 – Salt corrodes”). But Tip #2 happens to be: Take a look at the Dallas Museum of Art, which has one of the most important silver collections in the world. Basically, the show advises: You wanna know collectible silver, especially 19th-century American sterling? Check out the DMA’s holdings to learn what’s really valuable. The museum has items that simply aren’t available any longer.

But wait, there’s more. The DMA is also Tip #1. Collect 20th-century silver — which, if you thought about it for five seconds, you’d have figured is  likely to increase in value, even if it’s “machine-made.”  And “the pre-eminent museum in the field,” according to CI, is, once again, the DMA, especially for its Jewel Stern Collection, which was featured in 2005 in the dazzling touring exhibition, Modernism in American Silver. (The DMA is described as “very alert to this sort of stuff.”)

Some of the remarks in the interviews reveal they were made back in 2006 or so (the Modernism in American Silver show is referred to as recent). Which means Ovation acquired this show from somewhere, but I haven’t found an earlier record of it (got a call in to Ovation to find out where and when).

But this seems to be the first time this video’s available online.