What makes antique silverware so remarkable you ask? In short, each piece of silver possesses a unique sense of history unrivalled by its modern counterparts. Collectors of such items take true pride in owning these beautiful and magnificent relics of the past.
We have compiled a short list of our favourite pieces that we believe would make great first piece for anyone looking to get into silverware, a wonderful addition to a growing collection or perhaps even a meaningful gift for a special someone.
Chester Hallmark Napkin Rings
Did you know that the original purpose for napkin holders was for hygiene. Cloth napkins were not washed every day and therefore high-society was in search of a way to designate particular napkins to individuals. Napkin rings helped serve this purpose and were often engraved with numbers to each person would receive their own napkin each mealtime.
Napkin rings are typically sold in sets of four or six but are also available individually. They feature many intricate designs, from stylised engravings to heavy chasing and so on. Today, they are often utilised as table decorations and are a popular item to gift for weddings and christenings.
Silver Place Holders
Silver place holders were popular during the Victorian era and were originally used as menu holders. It was not until the end of the Edwardian period when the idea of using larger sets as place card holders began to appear as the need for a menu holder on the table began to decline.
For those who love to host dinner parties, this charming set of Chester hallmarked dog themed place holders would no doubt add a sophisticated touch to the dining table.
Chester Hallmark Vanity Case
During a time of fast evolving fashion trends, relaxed clothing was becoming increasingly popular. This shift in styles brought with it relaxed and streamlined garments with fewer layers meaning fewer places to conceal a womens make-up and accessories. After American Heiress Florence Gould was spotted placing her lipstick and accessories into a Lucky Strike tin box, the invention of the vanity case appeared shortly after.
The vanity case is small and compact meaning only essentials can take pride and place inside its beautifully gilt interior. This item would make for a handy companion on a day-to-day basis and nowadays it is no longer confined to just storing cosmetics.
Art Nouveau Floral Bowl
In the early 1900’s, the Art Nouveau style greatly influenced the world. Instead of being restricted to galleries, the designs were incorporated in everyday items and graced the cities, architecture, and the homes of the wealthy across Europe and America.
Referring back to the style, designs were beautifully decorative and skillfully crafted as seen with the floral bowl above. This functional item would make for more than just a decorative trinket. Just imagine it filled with fresh roses in the summer or sweet treats in winter. The possibilities are endless.
Dressing Table Tray
For those who desire the finer things in life, owning a silver dressing table tray such as this would certainly satisfy that need. Perfect for placing on a side table, dressing table or displaying on a mantlepiece. This ornate tray traditionally would have been used to store jewellery, hair accessories, perfume or other frequently used items, however these days the options for use are countless.
This tray in particular was hallmarked here in our fine City of Chester during the Edwardian era. It features extensive embossed detail in a beautiful flowing floral design, a vacant shield shaped cartouche and below that you can see a 'Green Man' mask - a popular symbol over the centuries which was typically associated with re=birth and the beauty of nature.
We hope you enjoyed reading of the history behind some of our lovely antique silverware and perhaps it has convinced you to treat yourself or a loved one to something exquisite.
Why not browse our entire silverware collection? Find a wonderful selection of useful and decorative pieces as well as a beautiful display of the highly collectible Chester hallmark. To see the full range, visit us in-store or get in touch if you are looking for something specific.