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Dating antique silver

The word "sterling" is found on American silver dating after 1860.Early American silver is very rare and was usually marked with only the maker's name or initials.Popular in the 17th century, embossing is also called Repousse, especially when the embossing is in high relief.Engraving – An engraved piece has decorative patterns that are cut into the surface of the metal using a tool called a graver which produces fine, sharp lines.Will you be using your silver daily, or will you save it for special occasions and holiday celebrations?There are many specialty areas of silver collecting, and some of them are more "fancy" than others.Watching the experts at antique roadshows or on auction house valuation days, you probably wonder just how they get so much information about a teacup, vase or a piece of silver simply by turning the item upside down.

But, even without refering to a list of manufacturers antique marks there are a few basics on china marks that you can commit to memory to help you date most antiques.

Koski, Director, Wisconsin Historical Museum Whenever I give a presentation on antique and costume jewelry, it's often followed by a session on identifying pieces from the audience.

Usually the first question I am asked is, "What is this thing anyway?

For example, an Art Deco era teapot will be in an entirely different shape from its Federal style and Victorian counterparts.

Silver Decorating Techniques Embossing – An embossed item features designs and patterns on the front of the piece of sheet silver that are created by hammering from the back side.

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