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GEORGIAN SILVER: Identification & Appraisal Values


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georgian silver sterling group
GEORGIAN SILVER refers to Silver Hollowware & Silverware made mostly in England in early 18th to early 19thC during the reign of George I (1714 - 1727), George II (1727 - 1760), George III (1760 - 1820) and George IV (1820 - 1830). Because the entire span of the Georgian Period lasted for over a century, during which there were different decorative styles adopted by Silversmiths & Jewelers of the time, the term "Georgian" is now used mostly as a general age reference and is not very precise in describing a particular style. In fact, a more accurate distinction refers to shorter parts of this time period, namely EARLY GEORGIAN (1710 - 1720s), MIDDLE GEORGIAN (1720s - 1770s) and LATE GEORGIAN (1770s - 1830).

The best way to confirm if a particular silver antique could be referred to as Georgian is to look up its maker's marks & hallmarks. For example, using the information provided in our Silver & Jewelry Marks Guides, you can pinpoint the exact time-frame that an item was made and then determine whether "Georgian Silver" is the appropriate designation. As mentioned, "Georgian" primarily refers to English Silver of the period, but some collectors have erroneously expanded the use of this term to apply to silverware made in other countries around the same time.

During the Georgian period, silver hollowware & silverware came in many decorative forms, most prominent of which are the ROCOCO STYLE, NEO-CLASSICAL STYLE, ADAM STYLE, REGENCY STYLE, and GOTHIC REVIVAL STYLE. Most antique silver pieces are characterized by specific design elements that place them in each style category but may incorporate a mix that renders them slightly harder to tell. In this particular case, all of the aforementioned styles tend to employ elaborate details when it comes to antique silver, with special artisan and silversmithing techniques that enhance their overall look and it is often nearly impossible to distinguish them with any degree of certainty.

Many examples of Georgian Silver are shown below. These are from our Antiques Price Guides and can help in appraising your own antique Silver treasures or collectibles.

In addition to the usual Silver Tableware, such Tea Pots or Kettles, Silver Serving Dishes or Platters & Trays, Silver Tureens and the like, many items were of utilitarian nature. These may include Candlesticks & Candelabra, Silver Utensils, Goblets (some as Glass or Crystal Overlay), Silver Cruets, and of course Silverware & Cutlery. Yet, the majority of these are elegantly decorated and are nowadays very collectible, often because of their sheer beauty and sterling silver content rather than their usefulness.

Because Georgian Silver is synonymous with a period prior to the invention of any serious industrial silver-plating methods (e.g. Electroplating, a.k.a. "EPNS"), the largest percentage of Georgian Silver found today in the secondary antiques market are in Sterling Silver. They should all be appropriately marked according to the Assay or Standards Hallmarks as regulated by the UK government of the time. Sheffield Plating was the only practical way to plate silver during the Georgian era, which nevertheless was still fairly laborious and costly, but still less expensive than Fine or Sterling Silver. For more on Silver and how it was made, please see some of our articles here.

English Georgian Silver also became the main inspiration of design forms and styles for American Silversmiths when this profession was still in its infancy this side of the pond. Although most American silver of the time and before mid-19thC was Coin Silver, their output was second to none in terms of quality and these pieces are even more desirable by collectors as they were especially rare, such as items made by PAUL REVERE in Boston, MA. Almost all American silver antiques from that period used pseudomarks that were in imitation to authentic British Hallmarks in order to gain market acceptance. Since this was not illegal as there were no official Silver Hallmarking Standards in the US, these marks can be challenging in deciphering and one needs to use caution because some of these same marks were also used on ordinary Silverplate elsewhere.

Prices of antique Georgian Silver have escalated dramatically during the past decade, mostly because of their Sterling Silver content, which has appreciated significantly since the financial and banking crisis. Like all other precious metals, antique sterling silver seems to have increased in value at an unprecedented rate and is considered to be a good and solid investment. When this inherent worth as a precious metal is coupled with their strong aesthetic appeal, Georgian Silver antiques are easily considered as very desirable collectibles. Georgian Silverplated antiques are also very popular with collectors, in this case mostly because of their beautiful designs and careful workmanship since the vast majority were made by hand, one at a time. This is especially true if their maker is clearly marked on each piece and is also well known and documented.

Examples of related items from our Price Guides

































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  • Silver twelve place cutlery set comprised
    twelve knives, forks, six teaspoons, tablespoons and dessert spoons, all hallmarked Sheffield 1958 together with two Irish silver tablespoons, Dublin 1774 ... [more like this]
  • Silver twelve place cutlery set comprised
    twelve knives, forks, six teaspoons, tablespoons and dessert spoons, all hallmarked Sheffield 1958 together with two Irish silver tablespoons, Dublin 1774 ... [more like this]
  • Georgian silver handled twelve place cutlery
    set, London 1820 together with five Georgian silver teaspoons ... [more like this]
  • A cased Victorian silver and mother of pearl
    twelve fruit cutlery set by William Gibson & John Langan, Sheffield 1889 Provenance: Nicolai Orloff ... [more like this]
  • Early 20th century oak canteen fitted with
    fish cutlery for twelve to include twelve knives and forks; together with a cased fish serving cutlery set and a collection of further flatware to include pearl handled cutlery ... [more like this]
  • A CANTEEN OF SILVER KING'S PATTERN FLATWARE
    AND CUTLERY, maker T.C., predominantly Sheffield 1952 comprising: twelve table knives, twelve table forks, twelve dessert knives, twenty four dessert forks, twelve soup spoons, ... [more like this]
  • GOOD GEORGE V 160 PIECE RAT TAIL PATTERN
    TABLE CANTEEN OF CUTLERY FOR 12 PERSONS, Sheffield 1942, comprising SOUP LADLE, THREE PIECE SERVING SET, PAIR OF SAUCE LADLES, SET OF SIX EGG SPOONS (Sheffield 1984 x 2) TWELVE ... [more like this]
  • A quantity of plated reed edged pattern table
    flatware, comprising; twelve large table spoons, eight table forks, twelve dessert spoons, eight fruit spoons, twelve small soup spoons, twelve pastry forks, eight large teaspoons, ... [more like this]
  • A silver King's pattern part table service
    of flatware, comprising; twelve steel bladed cheese knives, Sheffield 1961-1964, twelve dessert forks, Sheffield 1961 and 1962, a pair of sauce ladles, Sheffield 1961, twelve ... [more like this]
  • A Victorian part suite of silver cutlery comprising;
    fifteen dinner forks, six dessert forks, twelve tablespoons and eleven dessert spoons, all with family crest, by Walker & Hall, Sheffield 1899 and a twelve setting fish cutlery ... [more like this]
  • Cased canteen of fluted handled silver plated
    fish cutlery comprising twelve knives and forks, the canteen 14" wide; together with a Mappin & Webb two tier pearl handled cutlery canteen comprising twelve knives and eleven ... [more like this]
  • Stuart Devlin silver and silver gilt ninety
    two piece carved pattern canteen of cutlery for twelve comprising twelve table knifes, twelve table forks, twelve soup spoons, twelve tea spoons, six serving spoons, twelve ... [more like this]
  • A part canteen of King's pattern cutlery
    comprising twelve table forks , twelve dessert forks , twelve dessert spoons , eleven soup spoons , twelve table knives , twelve dessert knives , eleven tea knives , thirteen ... [more like this]
  • A CANTEEN OF CUTLERY for twelve place settings
    comprising a large pair of serving spoons, twelve soup spoons, twelve dessert spoons, eleven tableforks, twelve dessert forks, twelve dessert knives with steel blades, twelve ... [more like this]
  • A modern canteen of flatware and cutlery
    with wavy, thread borders comprising: twelve soup spoons, twelve dessert spoons, twelve tea spoons, twelve table forks, twelve dessert forks, and two sauce ladles, by William ... [more like this]
  • A Victorian silver canteen of cutlery maker
    CB, London 1841 comprising; twelve teaspoons, three mustard spoons, twelve soup spoons, twelve dessert spoons, twelve dessert forks and twelve meat forks, 100oz, in an oak ... [more like this]
  • A part suite of Victorian silver cutlery comprising;
    pair of serving spoons, twelve dinner forks, twelve table spoons, twelve dessert spoons, twelve dessert forks and twelve teaspoons, by J. Law, Edinburgh 1846 (62). 110oz ... [more like this]
  • A Continental (possibly French) white metal
    party cutlery seteach piece marked with a female head profile and FB comprising; twelve dinner forks, eleven dinner knives, twelve fish forks, twelve fish knives, twelve tablespoons, ... [more like this]
  • A Victorian part canteen of flatware and
    cutlery, King's pattern with diamond heel, comprising: ten tablespoons, twelve table knives, eleven table forks, two sauce ladles, nineteen dessert spoons, twelve side knives, ... [more like this]
  • A matched part suite of silver cutlery comprising;
    pair of sauce ladles, six table spoons, twelve dessert spoons, twelve dessert forks, twelve dessert forks, twelve dinner forks, eighteen teaspoons, four mustard spoons, various ... [more like this]

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