The Birmingham Assay Offices celebrates the life, work and legacy of the greatest industrial pioneer of the 18th century – a true gentleman of Birmingham and founder of The Birmingham Assay Office – Mr Matthew Boulton.
A major exhibition to commemorate the bicentenary of Matthew Boulton opened in Birmingham on Saturday May 30th. To mark the opening, activities took place in Chamberlain Square in Birmingham City Centre throughout the day.
Matthew Boulton was responsible for the establishment of The Birmingham Assay Office and of all the enterprises with which Boulton was involved, The Birmingham Assay Office is the only one that still survives today.
The Birmingham Assay Office is proud of its heritage and took part in the event on 30th May in true 18th century style. Dressed in 18th century costume, staff from the office promoted the range of services the Office provides and the curator of the Birmingham Assay Office led family workshops during the day about the History and the importance of Hallmarking.
The Exhibition: Matthew Boulton: Selling What All The World Desires opened in the Gas Hall on 30th May and will run until 27th September. To coincide with this, an exhibition of coins, medals and tokens, manufactured at Boulton’s Soho Mint, entitled Matthew Boulton and the Art of Making Money opened on May 8th and will run until May 2010.
An international conference on Boulton will be held at the University of Birmingham, July 3rd – 5th. Mervyn King, the Governor of the Bank of England, made the announcement when he opened the Matthew Boulton exhibition at the Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery that Matthew Boulton and James Watt, the leading figures of the Industrial Revolution would be the new faces on the new, redesigned Bank of England £50 banknotes.