The sterling silver coffee pot was introduced during the 16th century alongside the introduction of coffee into Europe. Along with both coffee and silver both were expensive with the wealthy class having the means to purchase. Demand for coffee and a vessel that could be held and coffee poured made way for initial early deigns. The typical coffee pot design was an expanded lower section with a similar spout design, sharp pour as to not allow the escape of coffee grinds. In the early 17th century filter techniques using linin cloth were used to hold the grinds while infusing the liquid. As coffee increased in popularity in the home, silver coffee pots evolved in style and elegance. Silver urns were also introduced as their larger volume enabled social drinking in an expanding market.
The silver teapot was established with the introduction of tea, spices and luxury goods from China into Europe during the 17th Century. Silver teapots designs were inspired from Chinese stoneware and porcelain teapots which accompanied the imported tea. Small silver teapots were produced as this reflected the importance of serving and the expense of acquiring tea. Teasets and services evolved to make the occasion of drinking tea a grand occasion. Grates were introduced at the intersection of the spout and body of the teapot to retain the loose tea leaves while pouring. The teapot handles were made from carved fruit wood or silver. Teapots with silver handles had ivory separators between the handle and the teapot body to create a thermal break, enabling the hot silver teapot to be picked up and poured.
Silver water jugs and pitchers evolved from period ceramic and pot derivatives, commonly used for holding drinkable liquids such as beer or water. American English the jug was named pitcher, an Old French word pichier. The Ewer was an earlier name for both jug and pitcher, Anglo-Norman or Old French eawer. Water jugs can be found in various designs, lidded for hot water with wide open spouts, bulbous in form or cylindrical. Examples can be plain or decorated with engraving and chasing applied to the bodies. Handles are either made from fruitwood or silver with ivory insulators to omit heat conductivity through the handle. Water jugs can be distinguished with the absence of the internal metal filter between the spout and the body.
Antique Sterling Silver Chalices, Ewers, Goblets & Chalices
Silver sugar bowl (sugar basket) and cream jug (creamer) are often sold separately but would have been once part of a complete tea and coffee set. With the introduction of sugar into Europe, the passion for this sweetener increased quickly, initially expensive until early 19th century. The silver sugar bowl originally known as the sugar basket was an inevitable accompaniment to the tea and coffee service or set. The creamer or milk jug was said to be a French introduction to accompany tea or coffee. Historical periods have marked their era with design styles, chasing and engraving techniques depicting tastes and trends of the time.
The silver decanter label (name tag) was created to declare the contents within decanters. The decanter label was also known as the "bottle ticket" during the 18th Century. Glass decanters were used to decant wine from the bottle by pouring its contents into the decanter to allow sediment to settle, the wine to clear and breathe. Initially coloured glass gave way to clear glass to allow the wine to be seen. The similar colours of decanted sweet wines such as claret, port, madeira, white wine, hermitage and others only enforced the popularity of the silver decanter label to enable identification. Silversmiths created wine tags depicting the wine names encapsulated with floral, fruiting vines and cherubs using chased and engraved techniques. Early wine labels date back to the 1730's with rococo influences, festoons, cherubs, scrolls and puttos. The neo-classical period (1770) saw the introduction of ornate forms. Regency saw extravagant silver tableware between 1800–1830 with silver decanter labels often cast with fine detailing.
Originating from France during the latter part of the 17th century the silver sauce boat or gravy boat traditionally came with sauce ladles and drip trays. Typically, of plain design with gadrooned perimeters or rococo style with chased shell and scroll work. Georgian sets are rare, heavy gauge silver sauce boats desirable, a lovely accompaniment to the dining room table.
From Latin candelabrum (“candlestick”). The early part of the 18th century saw the introduction of silver candlesticks, aiding piano, desktop reading and room light. Initially hand formed and cast candlesticks and candelabras were produced by silversmiths, beautifully made, lavish and expensive. Mid-18th century loaded silver candlesticks were introduced, this type of fabrication helped to lower the price as less silver was required to create a finished piece. Smaller versions of candlesticks for desks were known as dwarf candlesticks, this assisted lower–level reading. The silver candelabras were often created as pairs, having up to six candle holders each. The large, impressive candlesticks and candelabras created opulence at one’s dining table as well as function.
The word salver means to bring food, drink or letters. Many silver salvers, waiters and card trays are decorated with family crests, monograms and engraved decorative patterning. Salver perimeters are detailed in various styles known as pie crust or gadrooned, examples of feet are shaped to represent hoofed or claw and ball feet. Salvers, waiters and card trays were made without handles but occasionally with feet, trays with handles as with today’s designs. The silver teapot stand would have been matched to a typical flat-bottomed teapot by association and style. The stand presented the teapot as well as keeping the hot base from touching the wooden table below, no scorching or water marks.
Arts and crafts style was created in Britain and spread into Europe and onwards to North America. This movement was created by traditional craftsmanship using simple forms inspired by folk, romantic and medieval styles of decoration. Its creation grew out of the anxieties for industrialisation, demise of traditional skills, designs and lifestyle. The movement took its name from the Arts and Crafts Exhibition Society in 1887.
Antique Sterling Silver Flatware and Cutlery