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How to Identify and Appreciate American Arts and Crafts Silver

There certainly is a lot to love about the silver of the American Arts & Crafts movement – the glimmer of a beautiful hand hammered finish, the impressive weight of a piece hand wrought out of thick silver, the variety of innovative designs. But what I find most interesting and most appealing about this movement is the fact more »

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How to Clean your Sterling Silver or Silver-Plated Flatware

The ongoing  task of keeping silver beautiful is certainly epitomized in the job of polishing. When I pull out my formal service flatware to prepare it for a meal, I relish the moment as I clean the gorgeous detail of my set. Through our years in fine antiques, we have found flatware to be a more »

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How to Use Leather for Safe Silver Hollowware Cleaning

One of the greatest challenges when cleaning a sterling silver bowl, teapot, compote, shaker, or kettle on stand, is cleaning it without damaging it. When the weight of the individual cleaning it is incorrectly applied to the piece, it can easily result in dents, or one area being pushed into the other. Among the most more »

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How to Identify Popular American Coin Silver and Flatware Patterns

From colonial times until 1868 when the United States adopted the sterling silver standard requiring all silversmiths to use sterling containing at least 925 parts per thousand of pure silver, most American silver was produced in the slightly lower 900 purity silver, known as coin silver.  Coin silver takes its name from the practice of more »

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How to Take Care of Silver- Basics Steps with Extradinary Results

Wash, or at the very least, rinse your sterling or silver plate immediately after use.  If food is left on your silver for an extended period of time, it can stain or damage the metal.  Acidic or corrosive foods such as mayonnaise, salt, vinegar, or eggs are especially problematic. Avoid soaking your silver in water more »

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How to Identify American Silver Marks Part II: Investigating the Maker

In this post, we will walk through the basics of researching your makers. This is certainly a quick overview; for more detailed information, please browse our post “Books for the Beginning Silver Collector.” If you want to use the internet to find the maker of your piece, then I would recommend starting at this site: more »

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How to Identify American Silver Marks Part I Sterling Silver Flatware Holloware Jewelry

This week and next, we will discuss the basics of identifying the marks on your American silver antiques. The myriad of sterling silver items in your home may be endless: sugar castors, liqueur tags, flatware, hollowware, Native American jewelry, frames; the list could go on. You will need bright lighting and a magnifying glass or more »

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How to Identify Rare and Unusual Silver Serving Pieces

The Victorian era saw the popularization of the sterling silver tea service in response to Queen Victoria’s establishment of ‘the afternoon tea’ as a daily ritual, and elaborate multi-course meals became the norm for the upper class.  These lavish gatherings and an obsessive concern that no foods ever be touched by hand spawned massive flatware more »

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How to Build Your Library of Antique Silver Reference Books

Maybe you are just beginning your collection of fine silver, or maybe you have been acquiring pieces for many years and are looking to expand your knowledge of the field.  In either case, the following books will guide you as you seek to learn more about the world of sterling silver. Encyclopedia of American Silver more »

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How to Gently Clean Your Antique Elgin, Waltham, or Hamilton Pocket Watch

Whether you have a simple antique pocket watch, railroad watch, or an elegant Waltham, Hamilton, or Elgin pocket watch, this post will set out some guidelines for you as you clean your watch at home. For this job, I recommend having Hagerty’s purple silver polish and their dry silver polish in an aerosol can on more »

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