Sheffield Silver and Silverplate
We often hear from our customers that they have been told that their silverplate is not valuable, only to have them bring in a fantastic collection of antique Sheffield Plate that is worth hundreds or thousands of dollars. Sheffield plate is typically valuable not for its silver content, but rather as an antique that could be over 100 years old. However, newer silverplate can also be of substantial value. Modern silver makers, such as Reed & Barton and Gorham, make very high-end silver plated hollowware that matches their more popular patterns of sterling flatware. For example, a 30 inch waiter’s tray in the Francis 1st pattern of sterling would probably retail for around $7,000.00. The silverplate equivalent in the King Francis pattern (which matches Francis 1st) runs around $400.00. We would hardly consider a $400.00 silverplate tray to have “no value”!
In addition to high end US makers, there is quite a lot of mid-century, modernist, or Scandinavian silverplate, or even stainless steel flatware this is not only very valuable, but can even be more expensive than most patterns of sterling silver! Think makers like Georg Jensen and Arne Jacobsen. Even Dansk stainless can be quite good if you have the right pattern.
It is true that most modern silverplate that we see is not too valuable. Much of what we see is bowls, platters and chafing dishes that were wedding gifts sometime between 1950 and 1970. As we mentioned before, these items that were purchased in the US would have the word “Sterling” stamped on the item if they were sterling as opposed to silverplate. That being said, it can be very tricky to find the “Sterling” mark on your silver hollowware. We would welcome the opportunity to fully assess your silver collection if you are considering selling. Call us to arrange an appointment, or you are always welcome to drop off the collection to have a full assessment within 48 hours. Since I can sometimes be very busy with appointments at clients’ houses, the drop off method can be a quicker way to have your collection valued. Also, if you are handy with a smart phone, feel free to text me pictures of the silver marks and items. This is usually enough for me to provide you with a high level overview of what you have, and will help me determine our level of interest in your collection.