An Introductory Guide About Victorian Silver Antiques
Victorian-era silver antiques are fun to collect because many manufactures produced a wide assortment of items to fit the needs and budgets of almost everyone who lived in the U.K. during that time. As a result, it is lots of fun to learn about Victorian-era silver antiques.
To get you started, here is an introductory guide about Victorian silver antiques. The first part of the guide gives readers a rough idea of what types of silver objects were produced during the Victorian Era. The second part of the guide gives readers an idea about some of the famous hallmarks that can help today’s collectors identify different pieces. Finally, the guide also gives readers an idea of what sorts of pieces make good long-term investments.
Hopefully, readers can use this guide as a springboard to start off their own quests to learn more about these fascinating pieces of British history!
The Victorian Era features many silver objects that were practical to use as well as fun to look at.
As you may know, the Victorian Era brought great social and technological changes to the United Kingdom. People can learn a lot about these changes by studying some of the silver objects that were created during this time.
With this idea in mind, here is a brief look at some of the most popular silver items that were manufactured in the U.K. during the Victorian Era:
Household objects such as mirrors, hair brushes, tea pots, punch bowls and flatware feature simple but beautiful designs.
These objects were usually made out of sterling silver or sometimes silver plate. They featured lovely patterns and ample proportions to create very simple but pretty objects that were useful. Today’s collectors can enjoy owning these items by looking for items from the Robert Wallace and Son Company, the Daniel & John Wellby Company and others.
Don’t forget to also look for other items such as silver boxes, jewelry belt buckles and other knick-knacks.
The Victorian Era also ushered in a time where manufacturers could create silver items that served as fobs. These items were fun to look at but didn’t really serve a practical purpose. Today’s collectors can have fun collecting silver items such as boxes, ornamental belt buckles, thimbles and other knick-knacks that feature richly ornate designs, free-flowing curves and a wide assortment of sizes and shapes. These items were usually made by many smaller manufacturers out of either sterling silver or silver plate.
The Victorian Era also features many hallmarks that can help collectors identify certain pieces from makers.
Hallmarks are tiny symbols that have been punched into an object made out of a precious metal. They were used to tell people where the object was made, who made it, and how much precious metal content is in the piece.
Here is a brief look at some of the most important hallmarks that most Victorian-era sterling silver pieces have on them:
The Lion Passant.
It was used to mark sterling silver objects in England during the Victorian era.
The Lion Rampant.
Lion walking on its hind legs defending itself. It was used for marking sterling silver in Scotland during the Victorian Era.
The Crowned Harp.
This symbol was used in Ireland to tell people that the object was made out of sterling silver.
Pictures were also used as hallmarks in the Victorian era to identify towns where pieces were made. For example, a Leopard’s head was punched into objects that were made in London while an anchor was punched into objects made in Birmingham. Furthermore, objects made in Edinburgh typically had a picture of a castle stamped into them. There are other pictures for other cities. These hallmarks can be looked up online or in books that are devoted to the subject.
Finally most Victorian-era hallmarks include a lettering system to date pieces. Victorian-style letter hallmarks will feature capital letters from the Roman alphabet and feature slightly different sized letters and different curvature to the letters. An easy way to remember the order that these letters appear is to remember that later Victorian-era pieces have larger date hallmarks than earlier pieces.
The best Victorian-era silver antiques to invest in are pieces made out of sterling silver in top condition. This is true because they appeal to many more collectors than silver-plated pieces or pieces that have scratches or dings on them. This is especially true for jewelry items and for household items such as tea sets and flatware because small scratches tend to make these pieces look unattractive to most buyers. As a result, try to find and purchase only top-quality Victorian-era silver antiques that are made out of sterling silver for investment purposes. These items will always be in demand by savvy collectors who appreciate the beauty and rarity of these pieces. They might be a bit more costly than run-of -the mill silver plate pieces but their long-term investment value makes them a better choice for collectors who want to invest in items that look wonderful and have an interesting history attached to them.