English Silver

English Silver - Pre 1714 & Georgian

King William & Queen Mary

1689-1694

King William III

1695-1701

Queen Anne

1702-1713

King George I

1714-1726

King George II

1727-1759

King George III

1760-1819

King George IV

1820-1829

 

English Silver - William & Victorian

King William IV

1830-1836

Queen Victoria

1837-1901

 

English Silver - After 1901

After the Death of Queen Victoria to the Present Day

British Styles

Tudor

1485-1558

Elizabethan

1558-1603

Jacobean

1603-1649

Cromwellian

1649-1660

Carolean

1660-1688

William & Mary

1689-1702

Queen Anne

1702-1714

Georgian

1714-1800

Regency

1800-1825


English Sterling

English Sterling is indicated by a stamp showing a Walking Lion.

 

English Silver Plate


English Silver Plate - Old Sheffield

Old Sheffield Plate was used Approximately between (1740's - 1840's)

A method of Silver-Plating where a thin block of Sterling Silver is fused to a thicker block of base metal (Mainly Copper) and then rolled into sheets ready to be formed into objects.

Sometimes the Silver is fused to one side of the Copper, sometimes a Silver layer is fused on both sides of the Copper.

 

English Silver Plate - Victorian

Victorian Plate was an easier method of plating, which superseded Old Sheffield Plate in the Victorian era, where a completed object was coated with Silver by means of an electric current passing through a solution of the metal.

 

American


American - Sterling

American Sterling Silver is made from 925 parts of pure Silver to 75 parts Copper, marked "STERLING" or .925 or 925/100. The USA, Canada & Mexico all use this Standard and Marking.


American - Plate

American Silver Plated items manufactured in the USA.

 

Continental


Continental - Silver & Plate

The term Continental Silver is used for items that are usually made in Germany, Italy and Holland.

Basically in the European Continent, the Silver Content is usually found to be 800/1000 which is less than English and American Silver, which is 925/1000.

Even though the Quality is slightly lower, it has always been desirable and very Collectible.

Plated items are basically the same process as American and English Silver plate.

 

Reproductions


Reproductions - Silver & Plate

An item copied from an Original of an earlier period, generally copied to exact Specifications, and made of either Sterling Silver or Silver Plate.

They are made in many different Countries and not necessarily the Country the Original was Made.

 

Hallmarks


Hallmarks

Marks struck in to Silver objects by Officers of the Guild entrusted with the purity of the metal used. Different hallmarks denote the Quality, Date, Place of making, Payment of taxes, etc.

 

Britannia


Britannia Standard

Britannia Standard, mandatory in England from 1697 to 1720, was a higher Percentage of Silver, .958 instead of .925.

 Brittania Metal

Silver-like alloy of tin, antimony, and copper first used in 1770. When used as a base metal for electroplating it’s referred to as E.PBM

 

Production Methods


Annealing

Process for restoring the malleability of silver which has been made brittle by hammering. The metal is heated until red-hot then plunged into cold water which rearranges the metal’s molecular structure.

Applied Work

Details such as spouts, handles, borders, etc.

Decorations which have been cast and then soldered on to a piece of hollowware.


Beading

Decorative border ornament composed of adjacent half rounds.

Casting

Process for making metal-ware where molten metal is poured into a mould.


Chasing

Decoration in high or low relief achieved by punches which push the surface into patterns and which does not entail the removal of any metal.

Flat Chasing

Resembles engraving; a surface decoration produced with a hammer which doesn’t involve the removal of metal.

Cut-card

Decorative technique similar to appliqué work in sewing. Thin sheets of silver are cut into patterns which are then applied as ornamentation.

Die Cutting or Sinking

Process where a master pattern is reproduced in steel to form a die from which an identical article of a softer metal can be stamped out.

Electroplating

The process by which base metals are coated with pure silver when electrical currents pass through a plating bath which deposits the silver on the base metal.

Embossing

Decoration worked from the back of the piece to show relief.


Flatware Blanking

Another form of pressing and cutting a thick slab of metal into rough form. Subsequent additional hammer drops define the flatware before rough and final finishing.

Reeding

Decoration formed from parallel convex ribs.


Acid Etching

Method of customizing a product with an emblem, logo, or seal, etched into the item by transferring a tissue lifting of a logo from a steel engraving plate. The impression left is surrounded by wax resin. Acid is applied to the immersion and resin is then removed, cleaned and a permanent etching is left.

Etching

Surface decoration in which a pattern is eaten into the surface with acid.

Engraving

Designs achieved by cutting the surface of metal by the use of sharp tools called gravers which remove small amounts of metal.

 

Silver Gilt


Silver Gilt

The covering of Gold over Solid Silver. In French, this is called Vermeil.

 

Cloisonne


Cloisonne

A method of enamel decoration where metal cells or "Cloisons" are fastened to the surface of the object and filled with enamels of various colors in liquid state and fired until they fuse.

Plique-A-Jour

 

Plique-A-Jour

A method of Cloisonne where there is no metal behind the enamel which is translucent.

Light from behind brings out the jewel-like colors of the enamel, similar to a Stained-Glass Window.


Standard Engraving

Designs achieved by cutting the surface of metal by the use of sharp tools called gravers which remove small amounts of metal.

Bright-Cut Engraving

Beveled lines cut in to Silver so that light is Reflected from the Facets to give extra Brightness.

 

Champleve

Champleve

Similar to Cloisonne but instead of having cells fastened to the surface to be decorated grooves are cut into the metal and then filled with the enamel.

 

Alloy

 

Alloy

A substance with metallic properties composed of two or more chemical elements at least one of which is metal.

 

Butler Finish or Satin

Butler Finish or Satin

Originally, the result of years of hand rubbing by English butlers. Today, a mellow surface luster is produced by a revolving wire wheel.

Chippendale

 

Chippendale

A molded border of alternating long convex and short concave curves in imitation of woodcarving patterns popularized by furniture maker Thomas Chippendale.

 

Epergne


Epergne

A table centerpiece composed of branches, baskets, bowls and dishes.

 

Final Finish

 

Final Finish

This hand polishing step is precise and affords a smooth satin finish or a bright mirror finish. All fine polishing is stroked in the direction of the metal’s grain.