Antique silverware is silverware which was produced in a prior era.
Some families pass down their silverware from generation to generation. This Antique Silverware is usually designated for use at formal events only, as the family’s “fine silver,” differentiating between the formal and everyday silver. Depending on the family history, this antique silver can easily be over 100 years old, and it is traditionally passed from the mother to the oldest daughter, as silver is deemed an important item to have when setting up a household.
Like other antiques, Antique Silverware can be quite valuable if it is in good condition and if it represents a rare, unusual, or distinctive pattern.
Condition is an important factor when assessing value; silverware which is pitted, tarnished, or damaged will be less valuable. Completeness of the set is also the key with large sets generally being more valuable, especially if they include service accessories like ladles, cake knives, and so forth. Some Antique Silverware may be alloyed with toxic metals like lead, but this does not usually reduce its value.
Antique silverware from certain eras may be more valuable. Patterns also play a role in silverware valuation, with beautiful, rare, or unusual patterns being more desirable, while relatively plain antique style silverware may not draw very much attention unless it has a unique provenance.
For people who are fortunate enough to have antique silverware passed down as a family heirloom, that silver should be guarded carefully. Obtaining a valuation from an appraiser and insuring it may be advisable as well. People who wish to buy antique style silverware should work with reputable dealers, and they may want to consider using the services of an expert or appraiser to ensure that they are not cheated by unscrupulous antique dealers.