Abe Silverman's Antique Silver Shop
Quadruple Silverplate Blog Archive
at Abe Silverman's Antique Silver Shop

From what is antique quadruple silverplate, to various silverplate manufacturers, to collecting American silverplate to using silver - and everything in between.
Current Blog topics at the Quadruple Silverplate Blog.
Sterling Silver & Silverplate Collectible Souvenir Spoons!
Friday, February 24, 2006
Abe's added an entire new section of sterling silver and silverplate collectible souvenir spoons from around the USA and the world!

Collectible Souvenir Spoons 1 and Collectible Souvenir Spoons 2 and Collectible Souvenir Spoons 3
Three entire pages of vintage souvenir spoons to enhance your current spoon collection or even inspire someone else to begin to collect souvenir spoons. Collectible souvenir spoons are collectible for their intrinsic artistic value, and many collectors specialize in American spoons or spoons from around the world.

Collectible souvenir spoons are produced in a variety of different sizes. In the USA, most collectible souvenir spoons are demitasse size (3.5" - 4.5"), 5 o'clock tea size spoons (5.0" - 5.5") and tea size souvenir spoons (5.5" - 6.0").  Collectible souvenir spoons from other countries vary in length from 2" to an amazing 14" in length. Most European souvenir spoons are demitasse size (also called demi spoons), and many Asian spoons are also demitasse in size.  Figural collectible spoons are widely collected and are among the most popular souvenir spoons available.

These vintage souvenir collectible demitasse spoons are the perfect special silverware or flatware pieces to use as tea spoons, flavored coffee spoons, expresso spoons, cappuccino spoons and even spoons for hot chocolate! Set a unique and memorable dessert table with each guest having a unique souvenir spoon.

Georg Jensen Silver ACORN Flatware Pattern
Sunday, January 29, 2006
In 1915, Georg Jensen Silver began producing its most famous flatware pattern, Acorn, and it has become an artistic classic. These glossy sterling pieces feature weighty handles with flowing vertical lines, and are accented with a scalloped tip and pierced scroll design.

Acorn is an excellent example of applied art from the European Arts and Crafts movement of the early 1900s. Artists from this period relied less on neoclassical or historical styles and looked to nature for inspiration for their designs.

The Arts and Crafts movement is also very closely associated with the Art Nouveau style, which was characterized by the use of undulating lines and the influence of nature, and became known as the art of decadence!

Silver Flatware Silverware NEWLY LISTED SILVER FLATWARE!
Tuesday, November 01, 2005
The holiday's will soon be here! Do you have enough silver flatware and silverware for all of your family, friends and guests? Every year, the number of people coming to your home for the holidays increases!

We at Abe's have just listed a fine selection of estate silver flatware sets, individual antique silver gravy ladles, silver serving spoons and much more!

You can see our current selection of antique and Victorian silver and silverplated flatware available for immediate sale in our Silver Flatware section here: Silver Flatware 1 and Silver Flatware 2.

Each piece of silver flatware has been hand-polished, hand-inspected and cleaned again so that the silver flatware you receive is ready-to-use. We've done all the hard work. You can just enjoy the holiday meals with your family, friends and loved-ones.

Quadruple Silverplate Salt & Pepper Shaker Sets
Tuesday, October 25, 2005
The holidays (Thanksgiving, Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanza) will be here before you know it. We at Abe Silverman's Antique Silver Shop just listed a fine variety of antique quadruple silverplate salt & pepper shaker sets (also known as condiment casters). We've got traditional, figural and unique Victorian silver salt & pepper shakers ready to sell. Sterling silver salt & pepper shakers, too. See the wide variety we've already listed, and more will be listed this week. Don't wait, as once they're sold, they're gone forever. See all of our silver & silverplate salt & pepper shakers here at our Silver Holloware page.

Collecting Vintage Hotel Silver
Thursday, October 13, 2005
Although not as ornate or popular as a collectible, hotel silver is slowing making inroads into the silver collecting market.

Most hotel silver is engraved or marked with the hotel’s name or logo, in addition to the silver or silverplate manufacturer’s name. Hotel silver is very durable, as it received more than normal use and wear. Manufacturers of hotel silver purposely crafted hotel silver to be very durable.

Three of the largest manufacturers of commercial hotel silver were International Silver Company, Reed & Barton and Gorham Silver. Bumps, dings and dents are very common and a real part of its charm. You’ll be hard pressed to find hotel silver in pristine condition, but if you do, those are the most valuable. Hotel silver from well-known and prestigious hotels is the most sought after by serious collectors of vintage silver.

Collecting commercial silver is an affordable enterprise. Most hotel silver can be purchased at a very low cost.. Teapots, coffee pots, creamers and water pitchers are the most commonly available hollowware pieces, and therefore, the least expensive to purchase.

Reproductions of older hotel silver have begun appearing at flea markets, online shops and home decorating and kitchen décor shops. Make sure that you’re not purchasing a reproduction.

Antique Quadruple Silverplate Pitchers & Syrup Pitchers
Friday, October 07, 2005
Following the general styles of English milk pots, early silverplate pitchers and syrup cups imitated the same general shapes which evolved over the centuries. Most of the earliest silverplate pitchers distinguished themselves from milk pots by a small drip plate or saucer. Once the patent cut-off was invented for the inside of the pitcher, the need for the drip plate became obsolete.

Some silver manufacturers designed their silver plated syrup pitchers as an additional piece of hollowware to a complete silver tea service.

Until the turn of the last century, numerous designs of silver pitchers were introduced and offered. In the early 1900’s, silver yrup pitchers declined in popularity and few manufacturers even offered them in their catalogs.

Smaller size silverplate pitchers were designed for specialized purposes such as serving milk and cream. Many of these smaller cream pitchers or milk pitchers were an integral part of a complete silver tea service.

Fancy dessert services consisted of a silverplate sugar bowl and creamer that did not consequently match a silver tea service. Larger silverplate dessert services often included a spoon holder (spooner) and more contemporary sets included a bowl for the dessert. Many of the linings of these ornate silverplate hollowware items were made of clear, cranberry, ruby or blue glass.

We carry an extensive line of antique quadruple silverplate syrup pitchers here at Abe Silverman's Antique Silver Shop.

Spooners / Spoon Holders of Quadruple Silverplate
Thursday, October 06, 2005
Today's subject is antique quadruple silver plate spoon holders. These two-handled vessels are also called "spooners" or "spoon goblets". The vase shaped spoon holder is exclusively an American item and invention.

Other types of spoon holders are spoon trays, spoon racks, and combination sugar bowls and spoon racks and even egg cups with spoon racks.

The 1857 Rogers Bros. Mfg. Co. catalog featured one of the earliest known styles of a spoon holder. Years later (1867) the Meriden Britannia Company offered 15 different styles of spoon holders to customers. Most of these were made to match Meriden's tea services.

The earliest spoon holders were usually vase shaped and had two handles. Most spoon holders during this time were pedestal based; only a few had four feet.

Fancier types of spoon holders began to appear in the 1870's. Some had incorporated dinner bells into the design.

It was during this time that many silverplate manufactures began to advertise spoon holders on the same pages as their tea service sets, thus incorporating spooners as an integral part of a complete tea service.

Distinguishing spoon holders of this type from waste (slop) bowls, can be done by their handles and by being slightly taller and more slender in shape and design.

Combination sugar bowls and spoon racks became more prominent around 1874. Middletown Plate Company illustrated 5 styles in 1874. Two of these combinations held only 6 teaspoons while the others held 12. These popular combinations continued to be manufactured well into the early twentieth century.

You can find an exceptional example of a Pairpoint Quadruple Silver Plate Spoon Holder Spooner here at Abe Silverman's Antique Silver Shop.

Silver Deposit Glass / Silver Overlay
Tuesday, September 13, 2005
Silver deposit glass was first made during the late nineteenth century. Solid sterling silver is applied to the glass by a chemical method so that a cutout design of silver metal appears against a clear or colored glass. It is sometimes called silver overlay.

Another reference we found was this statement: Silver Deposit Glass was a piece of glass which had a pattern outlinked on it, then the glass was placed inside a bath along with a piece of silver. The electrolytic process caused the silver to adhere to the patttern outline. This resulted in a very popular type of glass during the turn of the century.

And a more detailed explaination was found: Ordinary glassware earns the name silver overlay glass when it’s embellished with a silver stencil-like design.  For fashionable young couples getting married after World War II, this type of decoration raised the appreciation of any piece of glass from middling to marvellous.

If you haven’t already inherited a piece of silver overlay glass, you’ve probably noticed examples when visiting elderly relatives or antique shops. As the parents of the baby boom generation continue to downsize and pass on to the next world, where material goods have no meaning (a concept I cannot yet fathom), lots of silver overlay glass is becoming available in the vintage marketplace.

If silver deposit glass or overlay catches your fancy, now is the time to buy.

Silver overlay, the decorative technique of applying silver designs to a glass surface (also called silver deposit glass or silver electroplated glass), was patented by Oscar Pierre Erand and John Benjamin Round for Stevens and Williams Ltd. in Birmingham, England in 1889.

Four years later, it was registered in the United States by John H. Sharling. American ingenuity drove the technology and artistry of silver overlay to its peak of accomplishment by the early 20th century.  Although prices for the best examples now reach into the thousands, many far more useful and affordable pieces are available for about $50. And many of these are Canadian.

Silver overlay glass was made in two distinct periods. The first was from about 1890 to the First World War. A revival followed immediately after World War II that lasted until the 1960s.  During the initial era of production, a very labour-intensive production technique meant high retail costs.

To produce a piece of silver overlay glass, a designer would first study the item to be decorated and decide what pattern would be most suitable.  Swirling Art Nouveau flowers would complement a perfume bottle, a waterscape of bulrushes would be used for a water pitcher, or intertwining grapevines for a wine carafe.

Next, the design would be painted on to the glass surface with a special flux — a mixture of turpentine and powdered silver.  After being fired in a kiln to permanently fix the pattern on to the glass surface, these pieces were placed into a water-filled tank along with a sheet of silver. An electric current was then set up between the silver and the tank walls.

This caused the silver ions to migrate from the sheet and attach themselves to any other silvery surface they could find within the field of the electric current. Their new home was on the silvery flux that had been applied to the surface of the glass pieces.

The longer the process continued, the thicker the build-up of the silver coating — and the more expensive the item.  After about 10 hours, the glass piece would be removed from the bath and buffed to create a glistening surface.  If the layer of silver was thick enough, various silversmithing tools could be used to enrich the detailing of the silver surface.

Sometimes the manufacturer’s name and the word sterling were gently stamped into the silver to assure the buyer of superior quality.  During the 20-year revival of silver overlay that began in the late 1940s, a more economical process was used.  After the design was created, it was printed on sheets of paper with an inky flux. These sheets were then used to apply the pattern to the glass surface for subsequent electroplating.

Today, a wide range of silver overlay items can be found, including serving plates, bowls, tumblers, pitchers, trivets, creams and sugars, salt and pepper shakers, ice buckets, perfume bottles and dresser jars.

Yet another description of this glass states Silver-electroplated glass British glass, also known as silver-deposit glass, produced c. 1890-1920. A design was painted in a flux, placed in a silver solution and subjected to an electric current, which fixed the silver to the painted surface.  Another interesting clip we located states: Silver Overlay Glass: A short explanation from: http://www.glassencyclopedia.com/silveroverlayglass.html

Silver overlay glass has a design in silver "electroplated" onto the glass using one of several electrolytic techniques. Like all silver, the design tarnishes and becomes black in time. It is easy to miss a lovely piece of silver overlay because the silver looks black and uninteresting. The silver can be very thin, like the Venetian decanter on the left, and this kind is sometimes called "silver deposit glass". Or it can be quite thick and even suitable for engraving.

The origins of silver overlay lie in the 19th century, but who was the first to think of using electrolysis to coat glass with silver is still a mystery. There were several patents for using electroplating techniques on glass registered from the 1870's onwards. These included Frederick Shirley USA (1879), Erard and Round for Stevens & Williams Ltd. (1889) and John Sharling in the USA (1893). But it seems that the electroplating-on-glass process was known beforehand by these people. They were patenting ways of using it.

Most of the techniques of depositing the silver involve painting the design onto the glass with flux containing silver mixed with turpentine, firing this design in a kiln, cooling and cleaning the glass and then immersing it in a solution of silver through which a tiny electric current was passed. The silver was then built up on the area where the design had been painted. An alternative method involved coating the whole surface with silver, painting the design onto the silver with a "resist" and then dissolving away the unwanted parts of the silver.

As you can imagine, it is a very expensive process. Ellen Teller in her very useful article in Glass Collectors' Digest (Nov 89) records that a decanter made in 1893 and had more than $4 worth of silver put onto a 90 cent glass blank, with nearly $5 added for labour costs.

The process of putting the silver on the glass was sometimes done by the glassworks in special decorating sections, or more often done by silversmiths on glass supplied by the glassworks. This is why pieces by Steuben, by Heisey, by Cambridge, and others who had no silver-plating facilities can sometimes be found with silver plated decoration.

There have been some very beautiful items produced with silver overlay designs. They were made in volume in England, the USA, Bohemia, Italy (Venice) and no doubt smaller amounts came from many other places. It was popular until the second world war, but a small amount continues to be produced. Recent inventions for coating the silver deposit at the time of manufacture (ie with rhodium) have successfully prevented it from tarnishing.

And our final note on the subject of Silver Deposit Glass / Silver Overlay Glass is to locate catalogs that feature glass with silver overlay (inlay, deposit, or resist) from the 1920s-1970s. Examples of companies which are known to have made Silver Depoit Glass items are Rockwell, Silver City, American Silver Works, S.L.L. Sterling, Lipman Sterling, National Silver Deposit Ware, Lotus, Claude Sterling, Duncan Bros, Edmondson Warrin, ESCO, Spencer House, Bedford Silver, Glenrose, Depasse Pearsall.

The 7 Benefits of Silver
Friday, September 09, 2005
1. Silver reflects. The film coating on mirror backings is silver. Mirrors are used in telescopes, microscopes, spacecraft and solar panels, as well as bathrooms! Don't forget the silver transparent coating on double-pane thermal windows.

2. Silver conducts heat. Those silver ceramic lines fired into your car's rear window keep the window clear of frost and ice.

3. Silver conducts electricity. Silver is the metal of choice for switch contacts because it does not corrode. Every time you start your microwave, dishwasher, television set, car engine, etc., silver contacts complete the electrical circuit. The same thing happens when you tap the keys of your computer keyboard, adjust your car's power seats, or release the power trunk lock. Silver is there.

4. Silver kills bacteria. Silver chemically affects the cell membranes of bacteria, causing them to break down. Bacteria do not develop resistance to silver, as they do too many antibiotics. Silver solutions are used in burn treatments. Silver gauze packs the wounds of patients during transport to medical facilities. Silver nitrate drops are used to clean the eyes of newborns. Hikers use portable silver-based water purification systems for drinking water.

5. Silver rings.  Silver has a pure acoustic resonance and is preferred by musicians for making high quality silver bells and musical instruments.

6. Silver captures images. Silver salts are the basic image capture and forming materials in photography. Every picture of your sweet little darling contains silver, as well as medical/dental x-rays and your favorite movie.

7. Silver is pretty. Don't forget the silver in your jewelry or traditional tableware. It's a favorite medium because it is soft and malleable, and can be shaped into any form. Silver has been used in cherished heirlooms and gifts for centuries.

Polished Silver Favored for Luxurious Serving Pieces
Friday, August 26, 2005
I came across an interesting article today, written by Ralph & Terry Kovel. The article begins with stating that for centuries, smooth, polished silver was the metal favored by customers for luxurious and expensive silver serving pieces.

But all of that changed by the late 1800's during the Art Nouveau and the Arts & Crafts movement, when silversmiths began searching for a new, creative ways to express themselves using silver.

Unusual and expensive pieces, many with a hand-hammered surfaces, began to appear. Hand-wrought work was suddenly popular!

Gorham Co. (Providence, Rhode Island) was in the forefront of hammered silver hollowware items, although they still produced their older conventional silver pieces. Many of Gorham Silver's bowls and other holloware items began to appear with applied decorative metalwork of silver, bronze or copper. Interiors were gilded with gold, as were handles and the decorations themselves. The Japanese influence became the basis for many of their designs.

Just a few years into this new design movement, Gorham was producing a line of hand-made copper pieces with a reddish-brown finish - the well known copper color! A new hand-made line of holloware items, called Martele, was now all the rage. Martele was made of high-grade silver, with decidedly Art Nouveau designs such as twisting vines, leaves, flowers, and other flowing shapes.

When the Art Deco period came into being in the 1920's, collectors all but forgot about the intricate and beautiful Art Nouveau designed pieces. Finally, in the 1980's, collectors once again became interested in the Art Nouveau and hand-hammered designs and the prices began to rise once again.

The Patron Saint of Silversmiths
Tuesday, August 23, 2005
St. Andronicus
Died: 5th century
Feastday: October 9

Hermit who had a remarkable experience with his wife, Athanasia. Andronicus was born in Alexandria, Egypt, and became a silversmith. Marrying Athanasia, he went to Antioch, where they lost their two children, possibly in a local plague. Both Andronicus and Athanasia returned to Egypt, where they became hermits in the desert. Athanasia, who was dressed as a man, lived in a separate hermitage.

After twelve years, a monk named Athanasius came to visit Andronicus. The two went on a pilgrimage to Jerusalem and then joined a monastery near Alexandria. When Athanasius died, a note was found identifying her as Athanasia, Andronicus' wife. Andronicus who died soon after, was buried with Athanasia.

Silver & Silverplate Snuff Boxes
Sunday, August 14, 2005
The use of snuff, which is finely grated tobacco, became a pastime with both the rich and the poor years ago. It also created a need for snuffboxes. Snuffboxes soon became ornamental objects which could be carried in a pocket.
The long history of tobacco use has left us a plethora of silver collectibles, from large silver cigar holders to pocket size silver snuffboxes.

Some silver snuff boxes were intended to be carried in a gentleman's pocket. These silver snuff boxes usually had a hinged lid so one hand could be left free to take the snuff. Larger types of silver snuff boxes were made for side tables in the home. All snuff boxes had tight-fighting lids so that the fine powder could not escape.

The collector of the 21st century can find boxes made of silver and gold, but there were also boxes made of brass, pewter and even wood. Some were enameled on top, others had paintings and fewer had real jewels.

Snuff boxes in Sheffield plate were generally rectangular, although other shapes were also introduced. Tortoise shell was commonly used for linings, bases and covers. One way to distinguish between silver and Sheffield plate is the worn edges and corners on plate reveals the glow of copper.

Today's market realizes prices for snuff boxes in the range of $55 to as much as $4,950. Today's collector of antique snuff boxes might want to specialize in silver. Many of the silver boxes go back as far as as the early 1800's and they can be a collector's delight.

Although Abe Silverman's Anitque Silver Shop does not currently carry antique and silver snuff boxes, we will be listing antique silverplate lighters this week in our Silver Holloware section.

Antique Quadruple Silverplate Tea Set by HOMAN
Sunday, July 24, 2005
Today's featured item is an oxidized fished antique quadruple silver plate tea set by Homan Silverplate Company. All original oxidized silverplate finish with matching teapot, covered sugar bowl, creamer and waste pot.

Antique English Victorian Silverplate Cruet Set with Glass Cruets
Saturday, July 23, 2005
Today's featured item is an Antique English Victorian Silverplate Cruet Set with Glass Cruets (SOLD!) The silver plate cruet with a matching caster is one of the most fanciful pieces of dining table equipment made during the late 19th century.

Bottles and casters used for salt and spices were made in America as early as the late 17th century. However, American silver cruets for these were uncommon before the 1850s, when table manners began to be sufficiently codified to encourage a proliferation of specialized utensils. Most 18th and early 19th century cruets were originally fitted with 2 to 10 English cut-glass bottles. Over the years, many of these cruets sets subsequently lost their bottles to breakage or loss.

Pewter is Making a Comeback
Monday, June 20, 2005
After many years of being ignored, pewter ware is making a slow, but steady comeback into the collectors realm and into the daily lives and homes of upscale residences. Woodbury Pewter is one of the most recognized pewter manufacturers today. Unlike some very old antique pewter which contained lead, today's pewter is made of 92% Tin, 6% Antimony & 2% Copper (No Lead).
Woodbury Pewter has a fine selection of contemporary holloware pewter pieces to begin your collection. See Woodbury Pewter.

Insuring your Silver Collection
Saturday, June 18, 2005
Always insure your valuable antique silver for the cost of replacing the item with a similar item, regardless of the original price paid.  Antique dealers will provide a valuation service for a fee. To obtain this service, please use the link at our Silver Appraisals page.

"All About Silver" Seminar
Friday, June 17, 2005
Great news! An all day seminar entitled "All About Silver" will be held at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C. on Saturday, June 25th from 9:30 a.m. until 4:30 p.m.
Shirley Sue Swaab of Melrose Park, PA will be the course instructor. Lectures in the morning will encompass identifications and hands-on demonstrations in the afternoon. Each participant will have the opportunity to personally examine more than 100 pieces of silver. In addition to American and British silver, the course will cover silver and silver marks from 26 foreign countries, including China, Egypt, Russia, Sweden and many more. Topics will also include weighing silver, photographing silver, and photocopying silver.

Beginners to advanced collectors are welcomed. Bring a magnifying glass. For more information, please call (215) 635-2260  If you are going to be in or near the Washington, D.C. area on Saturday, June 25th, THIS is a not-to-be-missed seminar!

Victorian Quadruple Silverplate Napkin Rings
Friday, June 17, 2005
We've just received a large collection of Victorian era quadruple silverplate napkin rings!
The silver plated napkin ring was at one time the standard accessory at the well-appointed dining room table, used for both special occasions and everyday meals.

Quadruple silverplate napkin rings many times had the name or initials of a household member engraved on it, so that the napkin could be reserved for that particular person and reused from meal to mail. Many napkin rings were simple cylinders, and most were unmarked.

We're excited to be able to list such a large and fine collection over the next two weeks, so be sure to check back!

We'll place a special link on our home page to direct you to these fine antique Victorian quadruple silverplate napkin rings as soon as we list them for sale.

Visit our Silver Napkin Ring section today for the finest selection of quadruple silverplate & sterling silver napkin rings.

Antique Silver
Thursday, June 30, 2005
With the upcoming 4th of July holiday, many people reflect back on our country's history. Now is the perfect time to begin collecting antique silver. Abe Silverman's Antique Silver Shop can get your started on your historical antique silver collection.  We have antique silver pieces in all price ranges and in a wide variety of holloware patterns.

Identifying English Silver, Irish Silver and Scottish Silver
Friday, May 20, 2005
Excerpt from the Antiques Council: Since the late 12th century silversmithing in Britain has been regulated by Parliamentary Acts and Royal Ordinances. This means that objects have to be stamped with 'hallmarks', a term derived from Goldsmiths' Hall which was the guild hall of the London Goldsmiths' Company. The first marks were overseen by this body. In 1300 the Sterling standard was established at 925 parts per 1000. All objects had to assayed (tested) before leaving the craftsman's hands. The system calls for various hallmarks which enable us to tell when something was made, by whom, where it was tested for purity and most importantly how pure it is. London was the first assay office and then others were established in the English provinces and Ireland and Scotland.

Now we know what is meant by a hallmark we need to find out what we are looking at.

SILVER MARKS OF ORIGIN - Each assay office has its own mark which identifies the town or city where the item was assayed, and probably manufactured.

SILVER MAKERS' MARKS - Since 1363 silversmiths have been required to stamp their work with a registered mark. From early in the 18th century on initials are found, prior to that a slightly different combination of marks were used.

DATE LETTERS - Used in England from 1478, in Scotland from 1681 and Ireland from 1638. The date stamp uses a letter of the alphabet, changed to the next letter annually in a regular cycle. Each new cycle was given a new style of lettering and shape of shield to distinguish one cycle from another.

SILVER STANDARD MARKS - From 1544 a specific standard mark, a lion passant, was introduced to be marked on items which met the Sterling standard as the coinage (up to then 92.5 % pure) had been debased to only one third silver. In 1697 the Sterling standard was replaced by the Britannia standard of 058.4 parts per 1000 to stop the melting down of coins for plate, the Britannia figure replaced the lion passant. From 1720 we are back to using the lion passant and standard Sterling although Britannia continued to be used to 1974, usually to celebrate a special occasion.

SILVER DUTY MARKS - 1784-1890 Between 1784 and 1890 a duty (tax) was imposed on silver in Britain. To prove that the duty had been paid by the silversmith an extra mark depicting the ruling monarch's head was struck on most items during this period. There were some who evaded this duty, so the mark is not always present.

HOW TO READ SILVER HALLMARKS - When looking at hallmarks, begin by studying the mark of origin to find out where the piece was assayed. If you don't see an assay office's mark the piece is probably from London as this was where the greatest amount of silverware was produced. Using your handy Bradbury's Book of Hallmarks turn to the relevant city's section. Now look at the date letter, not the easiest part of the process, as you have to check (a) is it a capital or lower case (b) what kind of script it is in (c) note the shape of the shield containing it. You must get an exact match to your hallmark to be confident about the date. For reference at home or at a library ,Sir Charles Jackson's English Goldsmiths and Their Marks is essential if you wish to identify makers.
-provided by Kathleen & Roger Haller

American Silverplate Reference Book
Thursday, May 19, 2005
A recommended book on American Silverplate! The Elegance of Old Silverplate and Some Personalities (Edmund P. Hogan, Schiffer Publishing, 1980). Hardbound, 189 pages. Descriptions of many tablewares such as napkin rings, butter dishes, pickle casters, and a special section on the Vintage flatware pattern. Many black and white photographs, reproductions of old catalog pages and much more. A "must have" for collectors, dealers and novices.  You can more books about silver at our Silver Books page.

Antique Silver Flatware Sets
Wednesday, May 18, 2005
You may not have a complete 78, 124, or 144-piece antique silver or silver plate flatware set, and you may not be able to afford an entire set in a particular pattern.

But many people have the most beautiful and interesting silver flatware sets by simply adding pieces of a similar style or manufacture, which is much more affordable and makes a much more interesting dining experience for your guests.

Complete and matching silver and silverplate flatware sets are becoming passé in many entertainment circles.  Nothing else can compare to the lovely patina of antique silver and silverplate flatware. The designs are exquisite, the weight and feel beyond compare.  So don't be afraid of mixing patterns!

Vistit our Silver Flatware section today!

Completing a Silver Flatware or Silver Holloware Set
Tuesday, May 17, 2005
I recently sold an antique quadruple silverplate sugar bowl to a woman in the Netherlands who seemed to have 7 pieces to an American silverplate tea set, sans the sugar bowl. In searching the Internet, she found Abe Silverman's Antique Silver Shop, who had just listed the silver plated sugar bowl, with the same design/pattern number as her tea set. She now has an 8-piece tea set and couldn't be happier.

Even if you do not have the complete set, or wish to add to a set you already have, either with matching items or similar styles, one can eventually find a quality antique silverplate piece to fulfill your desires. Keep searching and bookmark our Silver Flatware section!  We add new merchandise on a regular basis!

Silverplate Covered Butter Dishes
Saturday, May 21, 2005
Many years ago, cooking in America called for tremendous amounts of butter. Although margarine made its appearance during W.W.II, there was no substitute for butter. It was during this time when most of the silver and silverplate covered butter dishes were produced.
During this time, butter was sold in large one-pound blocks, a dish was invented that not only helped with the presentation at the table, but was a necessity. Most silver and silverplate butter dishes consist of three silver parts: the lid, the pierced liner, and the base. Butter was placed on the liner, allowing the excess condensation from the butter to drain through the piercing. If the weather was warm, ice was added with the butter on top, and the melting ice could drain through the piercings or drain hole.

These silver and silverplated dishes are also known as domed butter dishes, covered butter dishes and silver butter dishes. These more ornate butter dishes are more rare than the more commonly seen rectangular butter dishes that are just slightly larger than a stick of modern butter. Rarely does one see these rounded butter dishes in use anymore, and they have achieved a strong following for collectors.

For fancy dinners, the hostess may have had one of the servants make fancy molded pieces of butter called butter pats or butter balls, which were served on crushed ice in the butter dish to be picked up with a butter pick. These required yet another butter serving piece, itself known as a butter pat. Butter pats are tiny plates placed at each individual setting, to be used for a single piece of butter. They range in diameter from approximately 2 2/5 inches to about 3 ¼ inches, and were made in sterling silver and silverplate as well in porcelain and china. Many sterling silver companies produced butter pats to match their sterling flatware patterns.

As butter began to be commercially produced for distribution in individually wrapped quarter pound cubes, the larger form of butter dishes became obsolete. Thus the butter dish began a new form. This new dish usually had a crystal liner, to protect the silver from the salt used in making the butter. Salt is the number one enemy of sterling silver and silverplate. Most of the new butter dish forms are 8 – 9 inches long.

We at Abe's have a fine selection of antique quadruple silverplate butter dishes for your collecting and fine dining needs. All of the silver butter dishes are available for immediate sale, and you can view our selection of butter dishes at Silver Butter Dishes.

Display Antique Silver
Monday, May 16, 2005
Antique sterling silver and silverplate hollowwares can add beauty and elegance to a table buffet or your home. But isn't proper caring for silver items like candlesticks, serving trays and silver tea sets difficult and time consuming?

Antique silver pieces were meant to be used and enjoyed! With regular and proper care, most silver pieces will stay beautiful for years and years. The most common culprit of silver is tarnish caused by humidity. The ideal level of humidity for storing and displaying silver, according to Caring for Collectibles by Ken Arnold, is 45% to 50%. Since your home is not a museum, it won't always be possible to maintain a constant humidity level, but making an effort to keep your silver out of unusually damp environments will certainly help cut down on tarnish.

Avoiding excessive tarnish buildup in the first place is a good idea. This makes cleaning occasionally much easier. However, over-polishing silver can wear down the silver finish, especially on silverplated pieces, so take care not to overdo it.

When removing tarnish, use a clean cotton cloth to dust the item as a first step. This is important since dust can scratch the finish if not removed before cleaning.

Candle wax can be removed from a silver holder by simply running hot water over the area holding the wax. The softened wax should be easy to pry out with a finger. Never risk scratching the piece by using a knife or other sharp metal tool.

Once all dust and wax are removed, wash the item by hand with warm water and a gentle dishwashing soap to remove any dirt, dust and food, but don't soak the silver in water for any length of time.

Rinse your silver well with clean water, distilled is best, and dry immediately with a soft, lint-free cloth. A hair-dryer set on warm helps to dry hard-to-reach places.

Wearing plastic gloves rather than rubber (rubber will react with the silver) lay the item on a soft towel on a stable work surface. Use a soft cotton cloth or jewelry sponge and a good non-abrasive commercial silver cleaner or polish. Goddard's, Gorham's or Wright's as recommended. Some people find foams and liquids easier to manage than pastes, but it's really a matter of personal preference.

Apply the polish in a gentle circular motion. For intricate areas, use a cotton-tipped swab to apply the cleaner. Make sure all polish is removed when you're finished, using additional cotton swabs if needed. Once the silver piece looks clean and shiny, stop polishing even if you're still seeing dark residue on your cloth.

Wash the piece again and dry with a lint-free cloth. Items not used for food consumption can be waxed with a thin coat of microcrystalline wax to protect against tarnishing, if desired. Never lacquer your silver piece! It's best to store silver flatware in specially designed flatware chests or anti-tarnish bags.

After your silver is clean and completely dry, wrap pieces individually with acid-free, buffered tissue, or washed cotton, linen, or polyester to store. Do not use wool, felt, chamois leather or newspaper, which can cause tarnishing or even worse, remove plating. Wrapping silver pieces in specially made bags or silver cloths designed to deter tarnish make good storage choices as well.

If you'd like to display your silver rather than storing it, a glass-enclosed cabinet makes a good choice. And if you use glass shelves, make sure they're sturdy enough to hold heavier pieces.

Desiccant packets can be added to the cabinet help prevent tarnish, but don't let them actually touch the silver pieces. Special anti-tarnish papers and cloths containing activated carbon or silver salts can be placed in display cases as well. You can purchase these items from jewelers or department and specialty stores where new silver pieces are sold.

You'll want to avoid displaying or storing silver near cotton felt, wool or velvet as well. These fabrics contain sulfides that attack the metal. Direct sunlight doesn't actually cause tarnish, but it can accelerate the progression of the unattractive film, so place your silver display case away from sunny windows.

You'll also want to use white cotton gloves when handling silver if possible. The salts, oils and acids in your skin can cause corrosion. Arnold's book also mentions that fingerprints can even be etched into silver if left unclean for a long period of time.

So pull out that heirloom silver you have been hiding in the back of your buffet and start enjoying the beauty of your antique silver!

Your Silver Collection
Friday, April 22, 2005
Many times, our collections, especially those that have a strong hold on our passions, leaves us overwhelmed and unprepared for a financial loss.  If you're new to collecting silver, or if you're a long-time collector, take some time to document your collection.
Here's some tips to get your started from Abe Silverman's Antique Silver Shop:

Take a bright, crisp and clear photo of each silver item and attach this photo to an individual sheet - notebook paper is fine.

Record on the sheet of paper what type the silver item is.
      Record any marks as to maker, pattern number, monograms, etc.
      Record the measurements.
      Record a provenance - the ownership history, if known.
      Record the date of purchase and price paid - if you have the original receipt, attach this receipt to the sheet.
      File these papers in a loose-leaf binder and keep in a safe place.
      For extra security, you can scan or copy each sheet into your computer and onto a floppy disk or CD. Store this 'extra' copy in a safe deposit box, or for safekeeping elsewhere - like a family member's home or your locked office desk.

If anything every untoward happens to your silver collection (natural disaster, theft, etc.) you'll have a record of your collection for insurance purposes.

Silver: The Basic Styles
Thursday, April 21, 2005
Sometimes, one can determine so much just from the style of silver, sterling silver, silverplate and antique quadruple silver plate items.

The basic styles of silver are as follows:
      Empire style silver
      Gothic Revival style silver
      Rocco style silver
      Neoclassical style silver
      Japanese style silver
      Art Nouveau style silver
      Colonial Revival style silver
      Arts & Crafts Movement silver
      and the Modern Art style silver.
One of my up-coming newsletters about silver will feature a brief synopsis of each style.

Polishing Silver
Wednesday, April 20, 2005
"How can I polish or clean my silver?" (or sterling, or silver plate or quadruple silver or antique silver)  We receive endless emails about this daily.

So many people want to be able to properly care for their silver - hopefully because the realize the value of keeping these antiques and because the appreciate the craftsmanship and beauty and wish to use them on a daily or regular basis.

We have a page at our website devoted strictly with how to properly clean and polish (and care for!) your silver! You can access the page not only from our home page Abe Silverman's Antique Silver Shop but also directly from our Silver Care page.  Do not be afraid of your silver!  Enjoy it!

Silverplate, Silver Plate, Holloware, Hollowware
Friday, April 15, 2005
So which is it?
Silverplate as one word? Silver Plate as two words?
Holloware with one "w"? Hollowware with two?
Well, both are correct!
Many use the combined usage.
Others separate the two words.

Silver reference books, authors of silver and collectors of silver all have their preferences.

You will find a combination of both silver related words at our site.
Abe Silverman's person preference is "silverplate" as one word, and "holloware" with one "w".

We've noticed in our research that hollowware - with two w's - is most often used England, Scotland and Ireland.

You can find a wide variety of antique quadruple silverplate holloware items at Abe's!

Silver Magazine Mentions Abe Silverman's Antique Silver Shop
Monday, April 18, 2005
Abe Silverman's Antique Silver Shop was quite surprised and honored to be mention in the March/April 2005 issued of Silver Magazine! (page 40 of the Cyber-Silver article)

In case you're not familiar with Silver Magazine, they've been publishing since 1968. They are the only publication specializing in the entire field of silver, targeting both the serious silver collector, silver dealers and the casual silver collector.

From their site: "Silver Magazine brings you all the best silver offerings and the finest in research pertaining to the world of silver. We feature articles on antique English, Continental and Colonial American silver as well as 20th century works; previews and reviews of auctions; information on exhibitions and shows, both national and international. Widely considered a reference material by collectors and researchers, Silver counts among its subscribers the major museums, galleries and libraries of North America and Europe."

Silver Manufacturer Pages - Major Change in Access
Thursday, April 14, 2005
Some of you may be wondering why a *password* is now required to access the Silver Manufacturers pages.

We noticed a sharp increase in our bandwidth usage - all attributed to those pages.  A bit of detective work indicated that people were using that information to attempt to sell items at other venues.  Not that it is, in and of itself, a big deal, (knowledge IS important), but these people were telling many others to glean information from the site to use, too.  Again, not a big deal - until we had a look at our bandwidth logs!

Holy cow!  Something had to be done, and done immediately.  Options were tossed out, discussed at length, and we finally found a solution we were relatively comfortable with.  Removing the pages altogether was not what we wanted to do.  Charging for those pages was NEVER in our business plan, and NOT something we'd ever consider doing for profit.  But SOMEONE was going to have to pay the additional charges for usage - and there wasn't a long line of volunteers.  In fact, no one was in line. None of these "visitors" had any intention of ever becoming customers.  Further, we do not accept paid advertising at our site - because that isn't our purpose.

Our purpose is to sell and to educate buyers, not be a 'classified advertisement' for spammers, gamers and the like.  So, in a nutshell, we've been forced to compromise between leaving the reference pages up and running, removing the pages altogether, to finally charging a small fee to access these pages to help to defray the additional needs placed upon our site.

Although we are loathe to charge for access, abuses by others necessitated action.  Customers, of course, will receive the password to access these pages free of charge until the 'quarter' ends. (January - March, April - June, July - September and October - December.)  Quarterly access, and password changes at the end of each quarter, eliminates the probability of hemorrhaging bandwidth again in the future as the password makes the rounds - of which we're certain some will do.
Thank you.

Welcome to Abe Silverman's Antique Silver Shop BLOG
April 1, 2005
Welcome! We at Abe's invite you to participate in our Quadruple Silverplate blog.  We'll answer questions, although NOT regarding values, add hints and tips, discuss various design periods, manufacturers of silver and discuss using, collecting and caring for your antique silver, sterling silver and silver plate holloware items.
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