An Ode to Silver Plating

Anything silver can do, silver plate can do too - Or almost, anyway.

Of course we wish we could have all solid silver hollowware all the time, but that just is not always possible.

Luckily, geniuses of history pondered the same issue, and invented methods to coat other metals in silver, creating silver plated products. Thus giving the magical presence of shining silver goodies, without the hefty price tags of solid silver goods.

A Selection of Our Stunning Silver Plated Goods from Various Eras

Since the dawn of silver plating, whether electro or non-electro, its use has been vast. Hardly any era since 1742 has gone without producing silver plated items - and what a magical landscape of breathtaking designs it opened to the masses.

Though still costly, silver plated items were, and still are far less so than their solid silver counterparts.

Many famous silversmiths in history have produced their designs in both silver and silver plated versions, so as to make the items more widely accessible.

  • One example of this is an Anton Michelsen tea caddy spoon. Keep reading for explanation and pictures of the spoon - and of other items.

Other makers did not dabble much in silver plate. They instead left this space open to some 'artistic license', if you will, on the part of other makers, who then produced similar designs for those who, for instance, could not afford Georg Jensen's elaborate Blossom (Magnolia) designs (see example later in the article).

Whatever you could want, from whichever era - the Art Nouveau, Deco, or the Mid-Century Modern era, or any other you can really think of since the 1740s - there are many great pieces available for when you just want a great piece of history and a bit of luxury, but do not have the budget to go full silver.

A brief history of silver plating

- Silver plating began in Sheffield in 1742. Thomas Bullsover invented the method, which came to be known as Sheffield Plating, as a way of producing shining silver items - without the high cost.

Sheffield Plating was the original plating method, where a material such as copper was fused with a layer of silver and rolled out, to create a 'new' sheet of material, which could be shaped - just as one would with solid silver, or indeed pure brass. Heat plays the main part in creating the fusion in this method of plating.

Most often items created with this method will be stamped Sheffield Plate.