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Dating english silverplate made in sheffield

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This is to ensure it is of the required sterling silver standard and, provided it conforms to a standard, a series of symbols are stamped into each part of the item.

Today and for the past few centuries, this stamp or silver hallmark has shown the place and year of manufacture of the assayed silver item, as well as the silversmith who made or sponsored the item.

Silversmiths in the town of Sheffield, England typically produced identical wares in sterling silver, which they sold at higher prices than those fabricated from Sheffield silver.

Like many great inventions, the process of Sheffield plating was discovered accidentally in 1743 by Thomas Boulsover of Sheffield’s Cutler Company.

The metal is tested and marked at special offices, regulated by the government, known as assay offices.

Only metal of the required standard will be marked.

Read more Sheffield silver plate consists of a layered combination of silver and copper.

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In subsequent years it became known simply as Sheffield Plate.Electroplated materials are often stamped EPNS for Electroplated Nickel Silver, or EPBM for Electroplated Britannia Metal. The Sheffield Cutlery ranges are 10, 20 or 30 microns which the factory regards as 20, 30 or 40 year plate respectively with usual wear and usage.Created to be used at the breakfast table in large country manors during the 18th and 19th centuries, these remarkable Old Sheffield tea machines held both coffee and tea in their uniquely shaped, Neoclassical style urns Two hundred and fifty years ago, Sheffield Plate offered consumers a more affordable alternative to sterling silver.Today, these early works of silver plate often command as high or sometimes higher prices than their sterling counterparts.The reason is simple, collectors recognize the significance and beauty of early Sheffield Plate, especially pieces by the great Sheffield makers like Matthew Boulton.Remarkably, the process of creating this high quality silver plate happened quite by accident, but it was an accident that would eventually allow people outside of the ruling classes and aristocracy to enjoy the grandeur of fine silver.