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The Maker's Mark

The Maker's Mark

The fascination for me about collecting antique silver is all about being able to trace when and who by the piece was made. It is therefore gratifying if the hallmarks are in good condition and have not been rubbed, sometimes in their entirety, by an over enthusiastic housekeeper!

Some antique silver collectors will specialise in just a particular maker's name, some of which are much more collectable than others. However, the mark struck on a piece of antique silver might not necessarily be the mark of the silversmith who actually made the piece.

Most products have been produced through a workshop employing several different craftsmen. They would have specialised skills in hand raising, casting, assembly and polishing. The master who runs and owns the silversmith workshop will put his mark on that piece of antique silver.

Two of the silversmiths revered most are Paul de Lamerie and Paul Storr. Click here to see Paul Storr's mark on a classic William 1V antique silver teapot available through Warners Antique Silver. It is thought that the majority of Storr and Lamerie's work is produced by the workshop rather than the silversmith himself.

On occasion one silversmith would pass a piece of antique silver through the assay office for another who might have not had a registered mark. Paul de Lamerie was on occasion rebuked by the Goldsmith's Company for involvement in this practice.

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Awesome Antique Silver Goblets

Awesome Antique Silver Goblets

Antique silver goblets were most widely used up to the latter part of the seventeenth century, when they became less popular due to the use of glass in manufacturing.

At the time of George 111, sterling silver goblets regained some of their popularity. Georgian antique silver goblets were often designed in pairs, and some were even made to match silver wine ewers.

The earliest examples of silver goblets from Elizabethan times had either a shallow hemispherical bowl or a deep conical one, but in either case they were raised on a slender tapering stem atop a concave foot. These early examples are often profusely decorated.

In the seventeenth century the bowl became bucket shaped and these were normally raised on a baluster stem. Georgian silver goblets are more likely to have a neo-classical vase shape with a gadrooned edge to the foot, as seen in this pair by Henry Chawner (click here) . Rarer than these are those with a near egg-shaped bowl such as those displayed with this article, full details of which can be found by clicking here.

Campagna shaped bowls were most likely to be manufactured in the early nineteenth century. Victorian sterling silver goblets retained the neo-clasical vase shape but they were generally raised on more slender stems.

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Stunning Antique Silver Tankards, Mugs and Goblets

Stunning Antique Silver Tankards, Mugs and Goblets

Every conceivable kind of silver cup has been used for drinking many different kinds of liquids, including alcohol, down the centuries. The Scandinavians manufactured silver tankards, silver cups, silver mugs as well as silver goblets as long ago as the 15th century. The English and Germans quickly followed suit, and the Americans were producing silver cups, mugs and goblets by the mid 17th century. Click here to see the antique sterling silver goblets displayed at Warners Antique Silver Dealers.

Early antique silver tankards and mugs were substantial pieces of silver, being wide and tapering outward at the top, and having a skirted base. 16thC examples were often decorated with scenes from nature such as flowers or animals. The handles were sometimes very elaborate, often being serpents or twisted vines. The thumb piece for tankards (a mug with a lid) often had cherub faces or lions heads in their design.

Long before tableware was common place, silver mugs and cups were often given as gifts, and the smallest ones for babies as christening gifts. An array of sterling silver christening mugs on our website can be seen by clicking here.  In those days, as today, sterling silver was seen as a sign of wealth and good fortune.

More details about the magnificent antique silver Georgian tankard displayed above can be found by clicking here.

We stock sterling silver for every special occasion, including Christenings, 21st birthdays and weddings.

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Antique Silver Wine Ewers

Antique Silver Wine Ewers

Antique silver wine ewers were first produced in the late 17th century. They are often a vase shaped design with ornate decoration depicting grape vines as in the example displayed here.

History denotes that antique silver ewers were initially used for washing fingers with rose water at the dining table. From that early use they became water jugs in Georgian times and then gradually they have taken on more elaborate designs and were most often used for pouring wine.

Details on the Victorian wine ewer displayed can be found by clicking here. This is a particularly fine example of an antique silver wine ewer. It is becoming increasingly difficult to find fine examples of antique silver having no crests or monograms - as is the case with this beautiful antique silver wine ewer.

Georgian and Victorian silver wine ewers are much sought after by antique silver collectors. Earlier examples are very hard to find and command high prices.

 

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Antique Silver Mugs or Silver Tankards make superb gifts

Antique Silver Mugs or Silver Tankards make superb gifts

Tapered cylindrical antique silver mugs and antique silver tankards are typical of the second half of the 18th century.  Click here to view more details about the magnificent Georgian silver mug displayed here.

Strictly speaking, regardless of size, silver tankards have lids and silver mugs do not.

Just like the silver mug shown, the majority are pint sized. Smaller examples are generally known as Christening Mugs, an example of which can be seen by clicking here

In the 15th century, antique silver mugs and tankards werer primarily the preserve of the rich. Pewter or even wooden mugs would be used by those not so fortunate.

By the 16th Ccentury lids were introduced to protect the contents from flies and othe unsavoury habits frequently found in the ale houses of the time!

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