Please visit our other websites: Ganoksin Jewelry Making Resource | Orchid Jewelry Making Forums | International Gem Society | IGS Gemstone and Gemology Forums

Silver Collector Forums

Antique Tea/Coffee urn identification and worth?

hello good people

We have this beautiful antique coffee urn that belonged to my wife’s grandmother. It is our understanding that she picked it up in England in the 1960’s when she was vacationing there. It has no marks that we can find anywhere, we’re thinking it’s possibly silver plate over copper or brass. It has an insert that LOOKS to be sterling but also has no marks.
it’s quite heavy. we were wondering if anyone would have some input on it’s possible worth or ANYTHING at all about it. Any thoughts would be appreciated.

thanks much in advance for your borrowed expertise.
DSCN0178.JPG
DSCN0175.JPG
DSCN0177.JPG

Lack of marks unfortunately consigns your coffee urn to be at best silver plated. If the insert were silver it would certainly be marked as such. I assume that the insert has some sort of filter at the bottom and that it works by pouring hot water over coffee in the insert. If so I believe that the technical term for this is a coffee biggin. Value is going to be dependent on the condition of the plating and judging from your pictures there does seem to be plating loss so a few tens of dollars is probably realistic, although you might be lucky and get more.

Thanks for the response… actually there is no hole in that insert, it’s a solid tube with small handles to lift it out. for ice maybe? Seems odd to me if that’s the case. Would it still be called a biggin? Thanks again, I still look forward to anyone’s thoughts.

If the insert hasn’t got holes it’s not a biggin, and it’s probably not for coffee - well not exclusively. You may have got the ice bit right - then it could be used for cold liquids as well as hot ones.

Thanks for the responses! Do you recognize maybe the style in which this is designed?