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Sheffield plate what it is

March 23, 2022

Sheffield plate what it is

Sheffield plate, not really the right word as in the modern sense of plating an item means applying a solution of metal normally with the aid of chemicals or electricity.

As with this tea caddy was made in the 1790s per-electricity, a literal translation could mean a plate or sheet of solid real silver was placed into a mill where it was rolled through rollers and the silver was melded to a copper base plate or sheet, then in turn these items where made into household objects.

On the decorative areas or high points often as the silver was polished away would then show the copper below, this is called bleeding and if not too extensive enhanced the look of the Sheffield plate.

Most Sheffield plate or old Sheffield as sometimes called dates from circa 1760 to about 1850 so when you fine an item then you know an genuine old piece often can be brought very reasonably, as particularity younger dealers fail to recognise it.

Do not confuse with silver on copper as this is later and is electro plated silver on copper and normally low quality plate that tends to wear very quickly and often made in the 1920's to 1950's often copying early items.


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