In Part I, I gave a brief history of the development of the British silverplating industry in the 18th and 19th centuries. Now I would like to offer some tips on how to determine whether a given object is silver, Old Sheffield Plate or silverplate. In England silver has been marked in some manner since the 12th century when it was first regulated by Parliament. The marks made it possible to trace the maker and the place of manufacture. This helped to protect the consumer, for if it was determined that the silver object was not actually pure enough to be marked as silver, the culprit could be found and punishment could be meted out. As silver objects made before are quite rare, I shall restrict my comments to those made after that date.
The Story of English Silver
Description A rare old Sheffield Silver plated Chamberstick, sitting on four hoof feet, with a curved handle and silver matchbox cover. Sheffield plated hallmarks to the base, circa Base cut in a four petal design, with the candle holder removable by screwing the stem from the base. Overall in good condition with no damage. Measures 15cm x 10cm x 9cm high. Base measures 10cm x 10cm.
Sheffield Date Letters. Click on the letter you want to date or on a date letter cycle (column) in the table below to see a larger view (scroll down for earlier dates).
So can you trust the marks on your silver? The laws currently on the books the prohibit misleading marking date all the way back to One definitive way to find out if you have some Sterling silver or Fine silver is to take it to a professional appraiser, antiques dealer, or a pawnshop. However, one of the most common tests they can run — scraping a bit of the metal away and then applying a drop of nitric acid — will damage the piece to a small degree. Find out more about acid tests for Sterling silver here.
There are also a couple easy home tests you can do to help point you in the right direction. Ice test: Silver is a very good conductor, and will relay cold or heat very quickly. Put a few ice cubes in a container not the one you are trying to test and add about an inch of water.
How to Identify and Determine the Value of your Silver
The vast majority of English, Scottish and Irish silver produced in the last years is stamped with either 4 or 5 symbols, known as hallmarks. The prime purpose of these marks is to show that the metal of the item upon which they are stamped is of a certain level of purity. The metal is tested and marked at special offices, regulated by the government, known as assay offices. Only metal of the required standard will be marked.
Elkington date letter from to an illustrated history of the evolution of silver, sterling silver, silverplate, sheffield plate, electroplate silver, silverware.
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Sheffield plate other items
I have several older pieces of silver; trays, plate, silverware, and am having trouble finding ways to identify them. I would like to start with 2 items and hope I can get pics up. This small silver tray is a EPC piece but the other markings I cannot find. There is a bearded man, crown and what looks like a fancy g with a slash through the middle, then the number Can you tell me what this all means.
Sheffield College – The Silver Plate Restaurant at The Sheffield College. rearrange for a later date please let us know and we will of course move your booking.
It was not to describe a dish to eat off of at the table. So, when one hears or sees the phrase English plate , it refers to good, old silver that was made in England by their expert goldsmiths and then assayed or hallmarked in the appropriate manner. These items were They were allowed to be called sterling although the technical jargon was silver plate. This standard has been in existence for over years! By the way, there were no alternatives to this mixture to make it either more desirable or less expensive.
When one looks to decipher the early hallmarks on this silver, books usually refer to tables where the lists are categorized by the authorized large cities that had assay offices. Since Sheffield was an assay town, it already had its own lively trade and strict marking system for sterling silver or plate. These new items could not be marked sterling, but indeed looked and acted like the real thing.
Look at the edges and the seam mark-both indicators of old Sheffield plate. This process still consumed a great deal of time and demanded great craftsmanship, but it was cheaper than sterling silver. The process became outdated and obsolete with the discovery of electroplating in England around and nearly the same time by William Rogers in the US.
Electroplating was much faster and even less costly.
Silver plate stamp dating
These items are not for sale and the descriptions, images and prices are for reference purposes only. You can reduce the number of items displayed by entering a keyword that must be included in the description of the item. Old Sheffield Plate teapot embossed quad-footed base, marked with an impressed crown to base, height 15 cm. Show 3 more like this.
Hallmarks, and date letters when used, of nearly all the countries of continental Europe, reproduced in facsimile. A history of old Sheffield plate and a decription.
EPC stands for electroplated copper. Though the term EPC refers to electroplating, the technique used to create Sheffield pieces was mainly mechanical and chemical. Early Sheffield plate is notoriously difficult to date because there was no legal requirement to hallmark an item until , according to Bryan Douglas Silver. Flip your silver item over and look around the surface for a hallmark.
Instead it is likely silver-plated nickel from the 19th century or later. Search for a symbol or initials on the metal. Old Sheffield Plate is usually identified using certain names and dates imprinted on the metal. Marks include two sun-shapes for Boulton. Many other makers have their names in small shapes or shields. Check the maker name against the date listed in a hallmark guide such as “Miller’s Silver and Plate Antiques Checklist” or “Bradbury’s Book of Hallmarks.
Rare Old Sheffield Silver Plate Chamberstick Fully Hallmarked C1860 Gfw & S
Please log in, or sign up for a new account and purchase a subscription to continue reading. Please log in, or sign up for a new account to continue reading. For centuries, the town of Sheffield, England, has been synonymous with the art of silver making. Dating back to the 14th century, many craftsmen worked in silver in and around Sheffield.
In the mids, silver was fused to copper and called Sheffield plate. An invention of Thomas Boulsover , Sheffield plate was born by accident.
Gorham date letters on silver plate, beautiful filipina. We offer fashion and how to get a man in the assaying. Sheffield-Dating not for london town mark, it is the.
We have contacted all those that had reservations and wish to thank everyone for their understanding at this incredibly difficult time and for their custom this past year. Currently, we will be closed until further notice and hope to reopen as soon as it is safe to do so. We are currently working on introducing measures to reopen in the autumn. Once a date has been decided we will announce this through our website, social media channels and our email database.
If you have made a deposit towards your booking and would like to rearrange for a later date please let us know and we will of course move your booking and honour your deposit. Those that wish to cancel and be refunded will of course be reimbursed in full. Refunds will be issued as soon as the college reopens. At present the college is closed for both staff and students.
The Silver Plate team are working remotely, but can be contacted over email thesilverplate sheffcol.
Confusing Marks on Sterling Silver and Silver Plate
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.
Silver plate is a coating of pure silver on a base metal such as copper or and was developed later than sterling or coin, but various forms date to the 18th century. made include an anchor for Birmingham and a crown for Sheffield (in
Written on December 21, , by Arch Enterprises. It was a gift years ago and I was just wondering the value of it. Silver has been manufactured in Sheffield, England for centuries. Sterling silver flatware made in Sheffield, England will have value to a precious metal refiner because the item is in made mostly with silver. Sterling silver should carry a hallmark indicating its purity. Look for the following to verify that you have sterling silver:.
Old Sheffield Plate and Sheffield Plated are terms that indicate that items have been silver plated. Old Sheffield Plate is a term used to describe an earlier plating technique which fused a sheet of copper to a thinner sheet of sterling silver. These pieces produced primarily hollowware and this plating technique is not widely used anymore.
As a precious metal refiner , we cannot return a payment on silver plated items. If you have Old Sheffield Plate we would recommend you taking them to an antique dealer since these items may have historic value because of the way they were made. Previous post Next Post. I have some forks and knives that appear to be silver.