Check For That Silver Lining Before You Get Rid Of Your Gold & Silver

This Chinese silver 3 piece tea set, decorated with dragons, and bearing Chinese character makers mark commanded £1,200 at our November 2019 auction. Weight 842g.

In this article we wanted to spend a little time examining the subject of solid silver and gold. And as ever, we have some salutary words to heed if you are thinking of off-loading some ‘worthless’ items at the local buyer in the High Street.

Every High Street has a silver and gold buyer these days, where he or she puts items on the scales, works out the melting price, and offers you less.  How many countless, valuable and rare antique silver items that have been ‘given away’ in this manner is impossible to say. 

However, what we do know is that the vast majority of silver buyers have little knowledge of what makes a seemingly ordinary, plain and uninteresting item worth thousands of pounds which is why their main mode of operation is to weigh everything in without any scrutiny.  And even if they do know, are they really going to share this information with you? 

A large embossed silver twin Handled trophy. Trophy with Meir Golf Club script to central panel, mounted on original plinth with trophy shields dating to 1930. Sheffield 1906, 1467.3 grams, height on plinth 47cm. Misshapen body and dent to knob on lid.

Lot 1674 fetched a price of £480 at our November 2019 auction. A large embossed silver twin Handled trophy. Trophy with Meir Golf Club script to central panel, mounted on original plinth with trophy shields dating to 1930. Sheffield 1906, 1467.3 grams, height on plinth 47cm. Misshapen body and dent to knob on lid.

It makes disposing of your old silver and gold pieces a bit of a minefield, where you might never quite be sure you got a good deal, which is where we can step in to give you some peace of mind. At Louis Taylor, we hold regular specialist Fine Art auctions to realise the very highest prices in a world-wide marketplace. 

Because we work purely on a commission, it is very much in our own interest to achieve the highest prices for our clients.  So when you bring your items for sale with us, you know that we won’t be attempting to buy them from you at a lower price and then selling them on for a profit straightaway.  We put all our knowledge into play to achieve the best possible price for you on the day, and that way, we all win.

Silver flatware Sheffield 1919 1847g. Matching silver flatware comprising 12 dinner forks, 12 dessert spoons & 10 dessert forks, 1847g. Hallmarks for Sheffield 1919. Hammer price: £620

Silver flatware Sheffield 1919 1847g. Matching silver flatware comprising 12 dinner forks, 12 dessert spoons & 10 dessert forks, 1847g. Hallmarks for Sheffield 1919. Hammer price: £620

So, you might be thinking, “what makes a piece of silver rare?”   Well it’s a combination of the age, typically (but not always) established from the hallmarks, the maker and his mark, the quality and condition, and the actual item itself.  To the trained eye, we can spot promising pieces where the High Street silver dealer can only see market rates for the silver itself based on weight.

We have thousands and thousands of pieces pass through our auction rooms every year, and have seen a lot of items fetch prices at auctions that makes us confident that our valuation for your pieces is going to be as accurate as possible.  And so you have to ask yourself, what have you got to lose in consulting us first?

4 piece hallmarked silver tea set, clear hallmarks for Sheffield 1947. Weight 1714g. Hammer price: £460

4 piece hallmarked silver tea set, clear hallmarks for Sheffield 1947. Weight 1714g. Hammer price: £460

Why not talk to us today and let’s have an initial discussion on the phone?  Our in-house expert Rod Gibson can often tell so much from a brief chat, then we can arrange to inspect your item or items.  We promise to promote your rare silver pieces to a worldwide audience, and in some cases these will sell at prices that will exceed your very wildest dreams, especially Early English, and the more recent Chinese and Russian items.

If you have a piece that you would like valuing then please get in touch with our team who will be happy to help, or drop by one of our valuation days.  You can also call the Louis Taylor / Potteries Auctions saleroom to discuss any items you might have.  Just leave a message for Roderick Gibson to call you 01782 638100.

Email Valuations

If you can't come in and see us in person send us an email to [email protected] with details and a photograph (eg make, model, model number, measurements, condition) and one of our experts will provide information and auction estimates. Alternatively, give us a call on 0)1782 638100 to arrange an appointment.

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