Funny enough its not plated at all , that came alot later when electricity was invented. Sheffield plate was a way of fixing solid silver sheets a little like aluminium foil to another metal normally copper.
Copper been a good medium to fix other metal too,later when enamelling was mass produced even in silver and gold items copper or copper plate was used as enamel adheres well to it with silver and gold tend to ping off.
Sterling silver sheets were rolled through large rollers with copper and adhered together,giving a solid sterling silver look for a fraction of the cost.When worn the copper tends to show through giving a lovely warm antique feel, called bleeding in the trade,however when buying items some is acceptable,bear in mind most items made from 1760 through to 1840.
A collecting filed in its own right and there are some fabulous items out there often big utilitarian items such a soup and veg tureens, nearly always hollow ware,as due to size etc sterling silver would make less viable.
Item pictured is a lovely old coffee pot c1760
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