Is a silver plated tray or vase valuable in terms of the melt metal value at all? Or is the value strictly in the beauty and craftsmanship of the item? Just wondering, Thanks.
Hi there and thanks for joining us. There is a lot of silver plate over copper out there and the commodity price of copper is near $4 a pound - in this part of the world theft of copper wire and pipe is a huge problem. Not silver prices, but not worthless either.
Very few silver plated articles have any commercial value beyond their inherient utility. One notable expection is the silver plated epergne, a typically ornate three orfour armed centerpiece for flowers that was very popurlar in the UK in the 18th and 19th centuries, and to a lesser extent in the US. Almost all epergnes were silver plated due to their size and reach - sterling was just not strong enough, not to mention the amount of silver a “real sterling silver” one would contain. I have one we bought in London some 20 years ago that is Old Sheffield Plate, a process in which a sheet of sterling silver is fastened to a base metal such as copper…the silver layer is much thicker than on electro plateded silver which did not come into use until about 1850.
Many very large plated flower vases will also command a good price as antiques for their utility and decorative uses. But common plated trays, goblets, plates, pots and small vases & the like just don’t command any real market.
Epergnes became very popular again recently in the home decorating arena and the limited supply of antiques has been snapped up. I saw very few at the Miami Beach show last week and the asking prices were strong.