The first step in identifying and establishing the value of silver is to ascertain whether the piece is silver or silver-plated. Sterling silver objects are made of Unfortunately, silver-plated items hold almost no monetary worth. There is not enough silver content to have melt down value and generally, these pieces do not retain their resale value. Begin with looking for the hallmarks or stamps on the item. British silver can be a bit more complex, as the history of British hallmarking dates back to the 14 th century. Essentially, all British silver manufactured after should bear at least four hallmarks.
Hallmarks are authenticating marks struck on most silver items produced or offered for sale in Ireland. Since the Assay Office in Dublin Castle has been the only body with the authority to perform this task. The marks serve several functions:. In Ireland, sterling silver is not less than Below are a few examples and a guide to reading antique Irish silver hallmarks, followed by photos of as many date letters as I could manage. JS; this is the maker, John Smyth of Dublin.
Sterling silver objects are made of % silver and % other metals, British silver can be a bit more complex, as the history of British hallmarking dates back.
This superior set of 24 Regency silver gilt teaspoons is the work of renowned English silversmith Paul Storr. The spoon, knife and fork came into the world at different periods of human history and in very different ways, but in their own way, they played a large part in advancing civilization, and often made an important statement about personal wealth and status. Whether commonly used or the subjects of the strictest etiquette, it is difficult to imagine life without these simple tools.
Once sacrilegious and controversial, the knife, fork and spoon are among the most important inventions in the history of Western culture. The oldest eating utensil, after our fingers, is the modest spoon, but there is nothing modest about its role in human development. First formed of shells, which were later attached to sticks, the first spoons were used by our earliest ancestors. As human beings learned to work with different materials, they fashioned the spoon accordingly, carving them from wood and horn, and eventually working metals like silver and iron into spoon-shaped utensils from the earliest days of metalcraft.
These first metal implements often wore out very quickly, however, and only gained resilience with the development of copper alloys. The shape of the spoon remained relatively unchanged until the introduction of the fork. In fact, Etruscan spoons, dating from B. But it is believed that with the introduction of the fork, implements designed to use with particular types of food began to appear, and the simple spoon became tablespoons, teaspoons, ladles and soup spoons, to name a few.
How to Find the Value of Antique Silver
An Irish Provincial toddy ladle in the Fiddle pattern, with original owners engraved initial H. The ladle has an old and crudely done repair to the bowl, a circular piece has been let in, the solder marks clearly visible, approximately 1. These toddy ladles are usually Scottish in origin, but Irish examples are known, one is illustrated in the book “Celebration of Limerick Silver, page The ladle is clearly hallmarked “STERLING” in rectangular punch with rounded corners, the letters irregular, so clearly a provincial “home made” punch.
No makers mark is present. This sterling hallmark was used by Irish provincial makers, Cork but also Limerick, to denote the standard, these are rare items today.
Shop for-and learn about-Antique Silver Spoons. As the oldest type of flatware, spoons have existed in some form or another since Ancient Rome, at least. In.
Silver Dictionary’ of A Small Collection of Antique Silver and Objects of vertu , a pages richly illustrated website offering all you need to know about antique silver, sterling silver, silverplate, Sheffield plate, electroplate silver, silverware, flatware, tea services and tea complements, marks and hallmarks, articles, books, auction catalogs, famous silversmiths Tiffany, Gorham, Jensen, Elkington , history, oddities This makes difficult the research of information for inexperienced people.
The objective of this page is to help the visitors of the site in deciphering the marks of their British silverplate. A set of symbols imitating the shape of sterling silver hallmarking. These are “generic marks ” used by various silverplate makers. In this case the “S” stands for “Sons”. In this case the “S” stands for “Sheffield”.
How to Identify Antique Spoons
Our illustrated guide highlights the subtle ways you can discover the origins of any piece of silver. One of the most common inquiries at antique shows often has to do with authenticity: How do you know whether or not something is made of real silver? Collectors aren’t always looking for pure sterling silver , per se, but they should be able to know the value and composition of the pieces they’re buying.
Most of the time, you can find the information you’re looking for by simply taking a closer look at the teaspoon , fish fork, ice cream saw, or cheese scoup that you’re eyeing. More often than not, you can find an indented mark or a series of marks that can tell you a lot about the item: what it’s made of, where it was made, when, and by whom.
Spoons & Forks. Collectors Spoons, Dessert, Dinner Spoons, Soup and Serving Spoons Tea, Coffee, Salt and Mustard Spoons, Caddy Spoons, Marrow Spoons.
See also the definitions page in this guide for additional information on hallmark components. Note at centre of the image at right the four elements of the hallmark. Detailed image of hallmark far right. Locate the assay office. If your item does not have one of the standard fineness marks, either traditional or numerical, then it is probably silver plate or is from another county. Go no further. The date letter shows the year that assaying was carried out. The date letter example above represents Prior to the date letter varied for every office.
After that it became uniform for every city.
Problem with this page? You can contact us with the problem you are having and we will investigate. Your email address optional :. Details of the problem you are having:.
Apr 13, – Collectable Georgian Silver Serving Spoon. Fiddle pattern with monogram to terminal. Made during the reign of George IV. Dating to the early.
Lion sejant spoons and apostle spoons were also common from the 15 th century to the beginning of the 17 th century. From the late 16 th century the plain flattened stem of the slip top spoon was introduced which developed during the 17 th century into the popular trefid form. Silver Dinner and Dessert Forks are rare before the 18 th century and are not often found in sets until the late s. The Sucket Fork is an implement with a teaspoon bowl at one end and a two pronged fork at the other.
A Guide To Collecting Silver Spoons
There seems to be a problem serving the request at this time. Skip to main content. Filter 2. All Auction Buy It Now. Sort: Best Match. Best Match.
The spoon has been around for a very long time, much longer than the fork which only came into common use in the 18th century. Silver spoons are also very common to collect as you can pick them up at affordable prices and there are so many different types of a spoon that you can collect. If you are looking to invest in silver spoons, then here is everything that you need to know.
Unlike other antiques, silver spoons are easy to date if they are from the UK. In the 14thcentury, the hallmark was introduced which gives you information on the maker of the spoon and where they were made. With this information, you can quickly check the records against the hallmark and find out exactly when the spoon was made. All antique silver should have a hallmark on, so if you come across an item that does not have this, you may wish to think twice before parting with your money.
Another benefit of collecting silver spoons is that you will not have to break the bank to purchase them, and they are often close to the price that silver is traded at, making them too good an opportunity to miss. Because of this, it makes them highly collectable , and you will be able to find silver spoons in many antique shops, as well as antique fairs, flea markets, and car boot sales.
You will even see that you can pick the spoons up for less than the value of the silver, which makes them an excellent investment opportunity.
A Guide to British Sterling Silver Hallmarks
These items are not for sale and the descriptions, images and prices are for reference purposes only. A Dutch gilt silver apostle spoon, possibly Rotterdam circa with apostle standing figure terminal, inscribed with crest and ‘Maas Sliujs A. P’, length Two Victorian sterling silver apostle spoons, hallmarked London, , FH, with a fig-shaped bowl and entwined serpent stem terminating in a cherub mask, with figural finial, total weight gm, length 21 cm 2.
This lovely ring has been hand crafted from a beautifully simply designed sterling silver anointing spoon which unusually utilises the spoon bowl and spirals the.
Antique silver is one of the most versatile and glamorous of all precious metals. From teapots to trinkets, antique silver candlesticks to antique silver cutlery, these gleaming pieces combine strength and intricate design to create objects of real beauty. Yet despite their opulence, many silver antiques can be bought for bargain prices. Prices, of course, depend on who buys antique silverware and the desirability of the object at hand. Items such as antique silver spoons were made in huge quantities during the Victorian period – a time when the growing middle classes were showing off their new-found wealth.
This mass-production meant that a rise in silver lookalikes occured, made from Old Sheffield plate. Prices along with quality dropped dramatically.