Silverware is a general term for cutlery (also known as flatware) or dining items such as platters, tureens and gravy boats made from sterling silver. It can also be used to describe trophies, candelabras and dressing table items.

We don’t tend to see traditional silver cutlery in every day use nowadays but there is no doubt that if it is brought out on special occasions, it can make the table look magnificent!

I love discovering antique silver pieces when doing valuations and regularly come across the most beautiful pieces that have graced Georgian and Victorian homes and have been passed down and treasured as heirlooms.

One unusual find was a gorgeous intricate Edwardian Silver Tazza with lovely engraving, detail and fretwork in superb condition. This would have been used to display fruits or desserts, but was actually being used on a dressing table for bottles of perfume.

I also acquired a lovely late Georgian Silver Bowl with engraving and intricate detail called Repousse. This ancient method of decorating has been used in metalworking since the 16th century and it is where the decoration is raised from the back or inside of the piece by using a hammer or punch.

If you have any inherited silverware at home in a cupboard and are not sure what the story behind it is, feel free to bring it in to Heirlooms and I can give you a bit more background information. You may be surprised!

Originally published in the Purbeck Gazette 18th March 2024