walkLEX: Silversmith Shop

Silversmith Shop
@ Cheapside’s Patio, Lexington, Ky.

The patio at Lexington’s Cheapside Bar & Grille was once the site of Asa Blanchard’s silversmith shop. A historic marker identifies the site:

On this site, 1810-1838, was shop of Asa Blanchard, the most noted of Kentucky’s silversmiths. Blanchard silver was as prized in Kentucky as that of Paul Revere in New England. Among his customers were the most prominent families in the Bluegrass. A master craftsman who trained many apprentices, Blanchard was a goldsmith as well as a watch and clockmaker. He died in 1838.

Little is known of Blanchard prior to his arrival in Kentucky, but it is believed that he trained in England and his name appears in the 1790 and 1800 censuses of Wildersburgh Town, Vermont. He arrived in Lexington probably in 1808 and began acquiring the property at this corner (Short and Mill) in 1808. His work was presented to Henry Clay, governor Isaac Shelby. Also a clockmaker, one of his works appears at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City. [*] Asa Blanchard died in Lexington in 1838.

And in economic development news, remember that another modern silversmith – Tiffany & Co. – is opening a manufacturing facility in Lexington next year.

This post was republished by KyForward on June 1, 2011.