Abe Silverman's Antique Silver Shop
What is Silver Plate Holloware?

Silver Plate holloware, also known as hollowware and hollow ware, encompasses a wide variety of base metal containers for use at the table or elsewhere in the home.  Metal holloware containers made of silverplate have been a favorite table setting for centuries. 

Silverplate holloware has been a part of home decoration for more than 4,000 years.  Only royalty and the very wealthy owned the early sets, but today silver holloware is seen in many upscale and elegant homes.

Collecting silver plate holloware has become a renewed passion for many collectors.  Years ago, a bride will receive several gifts of silverplated holloware.  Today, that tradition is returning, except new homeowners are now requesting estate and antique silver hollowware pieces.  

Today, less and less fine silverplate holloware is available on the open market.  Those that have it, are passing it down as heirlooms or keeping the pieces in safekeeping, as the cost of silver is again slowing rising.  Most of these pieces are over 100 years old and are no longer being produced.

Uses for Silver Plate Holloware

With the proper use of display and lighting, silver holloware can add luster and instant history and interest to your home.  A few simple antique or estate pieces can incorporate a marvelous table setting.  For example, a soup tureen or serving bowl can hold keys and mail in your foyer.  Sauceboats and other bowls can hold flowers or other decorative items for a unique centerpiece. Serving trays can hold small objects such as a deck of cards or set of coasters and smaller bowls or serving trays can serve as dishes for candy or nuts.

Types of of Silver Plate Holloware

Some of the hollowware pieces you might find in homes include candlesticks and candelabras, sugar bowl and creamer sets, covered and domed butter dishes, coasters, small bowls, serving trays, and coffee and tea set services.

Silver and pewter had been considered a standard of elegance for centuries and was used extensively by Europeans and. Be creative with your holloware and remember a little goes a long way.  Classic or Victorian silver candlesticks can set an elegant and romantic mood for an evening dinner.  Of course, during the Victorian period, many unique one-of-a-kind items were produced, which today, can make a very appealing conversation piece!

How to Select Silver Plate Holloware

First and foremost, be aware that purchasing heavily tarnished silverplate holloware items is risky.  Many times this heavy coating of tarnish hides imperfections such as silverplate loss, deep scratches and exposed base metal.  These can result in costly repairs.  We, at Abe's, always hand polish the silver holloware pieces we offer, not only to discern any damage, but also to enable us to honestly represent these items to our customers. 

Many silver plate holloware collectors start out with a few pieces of their favorite holloware pattern, and as the years go by, they add more pieces to their collection.  The size and weight, the amount of metal, elaborateness of design and workmanship determine the price of holloware.  The better pieces will have cast borders, which are magnificent in detail. 

When selecting holloware be sure the soldering is flawless at the seams.  The best pieces have no break in decoration and will have a one-piece border.  Choosing holloware can be exciting and rewarding.  Often holloware patterns are designed to coordinate with silver and silverplated flatware. This can give your table a look of elegance and impress your guests.  Today, many designs are considered universally compatible. 

Care and Storage of Silver Plate Holloware

Always follow professional advice for cleaning and polishing. When finished serving, remove the food immediately and do not let it stand in the metal container.  Actually little care is required other than washing it with a mild dish detergent and remember to dry it off right away.  We at Abe's offer tips on our How to Properly Clean & Polish your Silverplate Hollloware page.

Occasionally you will need to use silver polish to restore the luster.  For storage wrap the pieces in a tarnish-preventive cloth and kept away from air and direct sunlight.  Our own personal collections are displayed in china cabinets or display cases with glass doors, with a hidden packet of desiccant to absorbed any moisture, which keeps our silver holloware pieces tarnish-free longer.

You should not be concerned with the small scratches that form over the years of using holloware. They are called patina and are considered part of their charm.

Well used and well-cared for silver plate hollowware is a delight to own, and may also increase in value over the years.

Visit our Silverplate Holloware Section today to see the ever-changing antique and estate silver hollowware available for sale! 
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