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Glamorgan Antiques Newsletter

July 2002 - Newsletter # 4

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WELCOME.

Welcome you all to this fourth newsletter from Glamorgan antiques.We hope that it will appeal to all lovers of Antiques, whether newcomers or more experienced Collectors.Anyway, the learning process in Antiques never ends,we all get to be more experienced but we never stop learning.


In This Edition

Silver in our Homes

an article written to help you understand the teminology and usage

 

If you would like to purchase some Silverware items then please click HERE to browse our Silver stock lists

 

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Silver in our Homes

Silverware including Silver plate, Sheffield plate and EPNS,in our modern homes can be used with great effect, instantly creating an air of elegance,opulence and olde world charm. Unfortunately silverware is dismissed by many as being too expensive or too difficult to keep clean.Nothing could be further from the truth.Please let it be understood that this article is not written for the silver specialists who only consider Georgian silverware and pre Georgian worth a second glance.No, this is for the ordinary collecting general public, who have an interest in antiques and like to buy antiques for their homes and cabinets.
Tea services standing on a polished Oak surface always look "the part" in the home.Some prefer plain teasets while others like the chased patterns.It is just a matter of personal preference.A good silverplated teaservice, that is a teapot,hot water jug, sugar,milk jug and perhaps sugar nips standing on a good tray speaks volumes about your good taste, even though perhaps you rarely use the set.You can also add a Spirit Kettle on a tripod stand with the burner down below,these were a great favourite with the Victorians and one such sample can be seen on the silver section of our website. If the teaset you purchase have lids on the milk jug and the sugar bowl, this is a set that probably came from a hot country such as India or the Middle East.Generally speaking the British teasets have no lids on the milk jug and the sugar bowl.
Click for bigger picture... The great variations in size,shapes and proportions of teapots prevent any concise description.The handles for example can be curved or angular and made from Ivory, wood or inserted insulators to prevent handles from over heating.Then the covers or lids can be flat or domed or moulded, also the teapot may have a flat base while others have 4 feet, some have balls some have clawed feet.The ornamental designs can be rococco,flamboyant designs, or applied gadrooning..
Hot water jugs can also be used as coffee pots, although once used for coffee they would retain a slight tang if used for hot water again.
Click for bigger picture... The tableware in silver and silver plate made just in England was vast.Therefore we are fortunately left a wonderful legacy of antique table items that are very easily bought at the present time, and do not cost the Earth.The smallest items are the salts cellars.These are generally circular or oval, some have gadrooned edges and stand flat on the table, while others stand on little feet.There should also be a small salt spoon.Salt was not added in the main to cruet sets until the 20th century.The problem with salt is that it has a corrosive action on metal, and has spoiled many a salt cellar and base as the metal will show pitting if the salt is not cleaned out of the cellar frequently for washing and cleaning.This then brings us to the grand cruet sets that are still very popular sellers in antique establishments and at antique fairs.Over 500 designs of cruet stands were made by one firm between 1788 and 1815, so how many differing styles altogether have been made is anyone's guess.. Basically they consisted of a variety of cut glass and pressed glass bottles.These were filled with cayenne(pepper), anchovy,soy,tarragon and other sauces set in the stands or racks, from the centre would rise a shaft ending in a loop of some form for the handle.Some of the cruet stands were very large containing up to 16 bottles, others especially the late Victorian ones normally were down to 4-6 bottles.The stands sometimes are flat on the base, others have small bun feet while the more elaborate have clawed feet with gadrooning between the arches on the wide flat sides of the stands.They look absolutely wonderful on a table, with the glass bottles sparkling and the crystal stoppers catching the prismatic effect of the light, and all of this for a sum of approximately £50 - £150 depending on the size and condition.If you do not mind having an odd bottle that is a near pattern, then you would be very suprised to find that these mixed sets retail from antique dealers at very reasonable prices, certainly under £50 GB Pounds.
Then we have the most elegant of silverware, the Punch bowl.These look absolutely fabulous in the home, and again the air of Elegance they exude has to be seen to be fully appreciated.You will see a very elegant punchbowl that is for sale on the silver section of this website.Sometimes they have an accompanying ladle either plain or decorated with pretty berry designs to emulate fruit such as grapes on the vine.The best punch bowls are always the large bowls, but again this is a matter for taste. The tureens for the table also are in every antique shop as again there were so many made that now we have a wonderful choice available to us in this the 21st century.Good quality tureens come again in many shapes and sizes, they have wonderful heat retaining qualities for use at the dinner table, and more than the occasional clean using a proprietary cleaner,a wash in hot soapy water is usually sufficient, especially if the silver plate is of a good quality, this you can feel by the weight normally.The better plated items are usually heavier than the lighter or thinner plate.
Extras for the table can be sauce boats on stands,also not forgetting the flatware or cutlery.The problem with Victorian cutlery is that most of it was made from steel and not the stainless varieties we have now.If not looked after the steel always shows rust marks and pitting, which is not the most appetising for us modern day users.I personally feel that flatware from the early part of the 20th century is the best for modern day use, as we are more conscious of hygiene standards and the early 20th centuery cutlery is very easy to keep clean and looks particularly nice when displayed perhaps on a side board or a chiffonier, in a beautiful old oak case, especially the double layered deep boxed containers.
Cutlery or Flatware, has many designs, there is the very large Kingsware pattern or the smaller neater Queensware pattern.Then we have the rat tail which doesn't sound very nice but is in fact a flat ended plain version of cutlery..Also an elegant design is the Dubarry.To most modern people brought up on stainless steel cutlery, you would never believe how alive and elegant a table becomes when we use the fancier designs on knives,forks and spoons.You could even extend this usage to the tea table by using beautiful mother of pearl handled knives and forks, and also extending this even further to the serving utensils such as the pickle forks and the Jam spoons, and to use a beautiful embellished sugar sifter to sprinkle sugar onto Summer strawberries is absolutely wonderful..Some people collect serving cutlery only, as the patterns on berry spoons and suchlike are truly amazing.Also even the silver servers as opposed to the silverplated, are not that expensive only costing about £20 for a really pretty spoon in solid silver.
Glamorgan antiques has a good range of silverware for sale and there are also a few small items on our jewellery section for you to see and hopefully buy.

If you would like to purchase some Silverware items then please click HERE to browse our Silver stock lists

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