Francis and Kay Reif, residents of Vancouver, developed their collection of trade silver (acc. 1590) during the 1960s and into the early 1970s, purchasing it in the art market. The better pieces were bought from Sotheby’s auctions and from George Terasaki in New York. The Reifs became interested in trade silver through a Vancouver friend. Francis Reif was the primary collector, and Kay Reif catalogued the collection, creating a catalogue card for each object.