Antique & Vintage Silverware, Silver Flatware, Cutlery and Hollowware - Trade, Wholesale and Export
* Advantages for you on this Marketplace & Guidelines *
Welcome indeed to a place where you can buy and sell Antique and Vintage Silverware with Confidence. We love Silver and have been ourself a collector before we started to sell and would like to give you some idea on what you can rely with us.
Guarantee for the Silver: We only offer Solid Silver, with the Standards 800, 830, 925 or 950 (and in some cases other local Standards such as 916 for Portuguese Silver occur). We do NOT sell or buy Plated Silver or other Silver items with less than 75% of pure Silver content
|Guarantee for the Quality and Condition: Our items are carefully checked prior to the listing. The execusion (eg. hand-made) is researched and the background of the Maker is researched. Most of our offers are from Maker`s well known for their quality. If there is a damage (apart from normal wear) at the piece we describe the problem for you can make up your mind. Usually damaged items are only listed in the Bargain Section|
|Guarantee in general and for the Period: We guarantee the authenticity of our items, they have been dated to the best of our knowledge. British Sterling Silverware is usually dated, but with Continental Silverware often only a period can be stated. When we describe an item as Antique it is from our knowledge at least 100 years old. Accordingly Vintage it is at least 30 years old.|
|Guarantee for the Maker, the Brand or the Design: When a statement about the Maker or Design is done this is part of the Sale and assured. You will get a receipt which will state the Silver Standard, the weight, the approximate age and the Maker (or if the Maker is unknown the country where it was made)|
|Return Policy: If an item has been identified by two independent experts as not being as described, we offer in EU Europe a full refund (also including our and your shipment costs). Such a return is possible within 14 days. If you do not like the item and are located in EU Europe it can be returned as well within 7 days, but the purchaser would have to pay our and his shipment costs. Because of Tax and Duties payment here in Germany on a return postage an item sold to outside of EU Europe should only be returned if the description was seriously wrong. All prices are in Euro or Swiss Francs and should be paid for in same. If there is a conversion (eg. in US$) this is only a rough guideline of the price in that currency|
|Service Standard: We are in business since 1989 and have thousands of satisfied clients all over the world and many regular buyers. We want to make it as easy as possible to buy from us. Therefore we accept VISA and M/C credit cards, we do not charge for packing, we provide inexpensive and fast shipment and personal attention. Additional costs related with your purchase (also duty for example) are either paid by us or stated on request by Email if they are payable by you. And yes, we are available on the phone or in person for questions or discussion of a purchase.|
Now some Questions and Answers about pre-owned Silverware in general:
Q: Why should I buy old silverware, isn`t it more clever to go for newly produced items, which does not show sign of use or wear ?
A: Apart from the charme of antique or vintage items, which often has been kept and used by wealthy families for 100 years and more, there is an economic reason. A new table spoon (21 cm or 8 1/4 in) in Sterling Silver by a good maker, such as Koch & Bergfeld and hand-chased in an attractive pattern such as Fiddle (Spaten), costs today retail EUR 150 in Europe and about US$ 150 in Northern America. This can be considered as a real exclusive luxury item, when we count that a mass-produced Steel table spoon imported from Far East costs less than EUR 1 (in a set). As our typical price for an EUR/USD 200/250 spoon is typically below EUR/USD 100 (and often even lower) you save at least 50% and the Vintage/Antique piece even sometimes has a fancy crest or representative monogram in calligraphic writing - most of these Quality Spoons were used by noble or aristocratic families.
Q: When such a wonderful spoon as you describe it is so "cheap", this must have a reason. I guess not many people want to buy them, therefore they are cheap, right ?
A: There are many interested buyers for good items in the market. Indeed these items are hunted around all of the Western world. You can realize that by observing Online and Live Auctions for Silverware, where nearly everything (99%) is sold when the starting price is reasonable. Less good items sells well too - but sometimes only at the value of the metal. This is one of the very few collecting areas in the world where antiques have a fixed minimum value (which depends on the purpose, material, weight, brand, design and condition). Any time and in any Western country.
Not everybody of cause can afford solid Silver when it comes to a Set for six, eight or even twelve Persons or to desirable Hollowware, such as Salvers etc. Many buyers prefer to purchase single Spoons, sets of six Coffee Spoons and other less expensive silver items. I think pre-owned Silverware is also one of the few collecting areas where you can still purchase a luxury good in best quality from a famous Silversmith at a price which you would otherwise just spend for a diner in a good restaurant. I would wish prices would remain (comparable) low for much more years, because I like to buy a Mercedes for the price of a Volkswagen or less. But, I doubt that this will happen. Prices raised already 500 % in the last 10 years and the large quantity of pre-owned pieces which currently still comes to the market (from estates etc.) will likely dry up in the next 5-10 years. When mostly "firm hands" and collectors own such pieces, the quantity coming to the market will be much lower.
We are following market prices to submit well priced offers to our clients. Personally, I would count for example an antique item of this quality at the same or even higher price than a new one. Anyway, the market is not (yet) like this and I am ok with selling at these prices today to offer my clients these opportunities. Who knows what will be tomorrow ? Today, the market for pre-owned silverware is still full in terms of quantity, which keeps the prices down. Anyway, demand is rising - and especially strong rising in the last 24 months and I have seen many collecting areas, where the market got nearly empty of good items at reasonable prices within less than 10 years. You can see this today already in Southern Europe, where Silverware prices are often 100% higher than in Northern Europe.
Q: Large parts of your offerings are German or Continental Silverware. Since I live in the United States I am more used to American Sterling Silver, which is regularly offered here in the USA ?
A: Yes, in my opinion it is fine to buy selected Sterling Silver from the best American makers, such as Gorham or Tiffany. But these are usually not inexpensive and often have heavy ornamental decoration. The cutlery / flatware items mostly in demand today by the World Buyers are the really classic patterns with reduced decoration and a classic form, such as Fiddle (Spaten) or Fiddle & Thread (Augsburger Faden) and some others. Also well designed Art Nouveau Silverware always finds a lover and - last but not least - the design pieces from the first half of the 20th Century (such as Cactus or Pyramid by Georg Jensen), including some Art Deco designs.
Germany is today (and has been most of the 20th Century) the leading manufacturer and exporter of new Silver Cutlery / Flatware - 60% of the world production comes from Germany. If you add Danish Makers (eg. Georg Jensen) and the Swiss Maker Jezler, this comes to about 2/3 of the world supply. Items from silver have been made since several thousand years, but Silver Cutlery / Flatware in notable amounts came up only in the 18th Century. In these times silverware was mainly produced in London, Paris and Augsburg. For Tableware Georgian England was the leading force in the world. Later in the 19th Century (after 1830) industrial revolution and the use of the steam engine leads to mass production in England, especially in Sheffield and Birmingham - while London based Silversmiths still worked in the traditional high quality way. In the last quarter of the 19th Century until the 20th Century American Silversmiths adopted the British way of mass production and only a few silversmiths still produced in a traditional (partly hand-chased) way. The Silver flatware manufacturers in Germany was comparable weak after 1780 and until ca. 1870, but started over with immense power afterwards. Germany became regarding silver flatware a huge market itself and was and is an important marketplace for silverware for other European nations. In the early 20th Century and until the early 1930s many famous designers (and artists) were located in Germany and developing new patterns. Many of the German Silverware Makers gave a special attention to perfect quality and execution, which can only be achieved when you produce in up to 60 stages of manufacturing and when the items are at least in parts hand-made. This is today the same as 100 years ago. In nearby Denmark Georg Jensen rose up to became the most famous silversmith of the world. When after World War II inexpensive steel flatware came up, followed by the severe Recessions of the 1970s nearly all British, European and American Silvermakers gave up and closed down. But we still have today in Germany half a dozen - and in all of Europe in total about a dozen - of Manufacturers, with their knowledge achieved in up to 200 years, with their valuable old tools and forms and passion for first class quality.
This is why we like European Silverware, especially from Germany - and we like British Georgian (18th Century until 1830s) and London-made Sterling Silverware of all periods - and we like French Silverware done in Paris (unfortunately eg. from the early and 18th Century hardly any French silverware survived, because it was melted down to finance the Kingdom, Wars etc.) - and we like fine Silverware done in Europe in general (wonderful items were done for example in Portugal, but unfortunately in small numbers only) - and we like certain designs of American Silverware made by quality Makers such as Gorham.
Q: Can you provide a list of recommendable makers and designs ?
A: We are currently working on that and have planned to add such a list later. Stay tuned and please take meanwhile a look to our current offerings.