Mystery Footed Silver Bowl - Useful? Just decorative?

Hello silver enthusiasts/experts! I inherited this footed silver bowl - stands about 4" tall.
This is my first time on this forum so I’m not sure if the photos are visible. I expected to see a thumbnail but I just see text. Well, fingers crossed. Thank you for any help you can offer!

Any info on its origins will be gratefully received. Thank you!

Unfortunately your bowl is not solid silver. The 4 Old English style letters on the right of the mark are EPNS which stand for electroplated nickel silver. The bowl has a microscopically thin layer of pure silver on nickel silver which is a white metal alloy containing no silver whatsoever. HW / Ltd is the manaufacturer’s mark and is that of Henry Wilkinson & Co Ltd, a Sheffield company.

Your bowl may have been a sugar bowl from a tea service. It probably dates from the late 19th century and may have originally had a decorative glass liner. To clean it you can use a silver polish but remember that the silver layer is very thin so treat it gently.


Dear Phil, I am truly grateful for the time you devoted to answering my post so thoroughly. This is really helpful and so interesting! I appreciate the info and now know that if I choose to polish it up that I have to do it with a super light touch. Thank you very much! Dianne