#1 Sterling Silver Trays Buyer Las Vegas & Henderson
If you are a person who likes going to restaurants and other dining places, then you might be familiar with what a tray is. A tray is the shallow platformed object that is made to carry items, that could be food, drinks, or other flatware. Trays are commonly made out of silver, brass, sheet iron, paperboard, wood, melamine, and molded pulp. The ones that you usually see in cafeterias or fast food chains are the disposable kind which made of molded pulp or melamine. Expensive ones are the silver trays, sterling silver trays, and brass trays which you can find in luxurious hotels and restaurants. While most of the trays are flat, there are trays with handles or short feet for support.
Trays are simply flat but with raised edges to prevent things from sliding off. Trays come in many shaped but the usual shapes are oval and rectangle. Aside from handles on the tray, there are some that have cut-out holes on two opposing sides to help carry the tray.
Mentioning that the tray comes in many shapes, it also serves many purpose and names. Let’s get to know some of them that are used in the food industry.
- Butler’s Tray – used for the service of drinks and serves conveniently as a side table.
- Cafeteria Tray – made of plastic or fiberglass and is meant to carry food without dishes.
- Molded Pulp Tray – it is disposable and recyclable which is usually found in fast-food chains, coffee shops, and movie theatres.
- Baking Tray – also known as oven tray which is used to cook food using the oven.
- Food Packaging Tray – this includes a foam tray, aluminum foil take-out food tray, and thin plastic trays which can be found in grocery stores and supermarkets.
The aforementioned names are just examples of the different types of trays based on the materials used in making them. As said, these trays may or may not have handles with them or the feet for support, but still serve the purpose of carrying items.
In the early years of the 18th century, Georgian style silver trays were produced. Silversmiths who follow this style created trays that have carved edges and flat interior bearing the maker’s mark or monogram of the owner. However, sterling silver tray became less popular in the Victorian Era than the silver-plated ones. This interest was revived when Art Nouveau came into the picture by the late 1800s. Many Arts and Crafts movements grew back attention in striking silver items.
Sterling silver trays made from Art Nouveau are showered with floral patterns and motifs since they based their designs from nature. Unlike Arts and Crafts that focused their designs to the natural beauty of how the item was made. Their trays are mostly hand hammered and pierced, and sometimes decorated with just a wire border or a bezel-set stone.
During the 1920s through 1930s, also known as Art Deco Era produced sterling silver trays that are machine-made look. Most of the designs and produced trays are mildly engraved. Examples of this are designs from E. Bernard and Sons of London who chose to add a clean octagonal border around the circular base.
Sterling silver trays hold great beauty and classic quality. They are used to express the social wealth of certain families. Nowadays, it is often used to accessorize homes and is mostly considered as treasure or heirloom. You can see that the common design of the antique sterling silver trays is two feet in length with two handles. If it does not have handles, that is what we call a Salver. The salver is the rarest version of antique sterling silver trays because the majority of it vanished during the English Civil War.
To be able to get a good price for your sterling silver trays, the first thing to do is to identify and establish the value of silver. You have to determine whether it is silver, sterling silver, or silver-plated. Sterling silver trays contain 92.5 percent silver and 7.5 percent copper-alloy. Silver-plated items are simply coated with silver, it may have the same luster as silver but it’s too shiny for sterling silver.
Another to look out for is the hallmark and maker’s stamps on the item. As mentioned before, sterling silver trays from the 18th century have its maker’s mark or monogram of the owner. The marks will also add value to the tray. Aside from those, you must check for the word “sterling” or the number “925” in the piece. That is usually stamped on the bottom or back of the item together with the maker’s name.
Identifying British sterling silver trays can become a bit complex since they have a unique hallmarking. This does not only apply to trays but to all silver and sterling silver items that are British produced. They have the lion passant mark; the thistle and harp; town marks; date letter ranging from A to Z; and the maker’s mark which is the initials of the silversmith. Silvers made in Germany, France, and Italy are called Continental Silvers. They are examined and marked in a different way based on their origin. If you see a mark of “800” with an image of a crescent moon and a crown, this distinguishes the item to be manufactured from Germany.
After recognizing that your tray is silver or sterling silver and not just silver-plated, it is very important to identify next how old is the item, the maker and manufacturer, the condition of the item, place of origin, and the design and pattern on it. Although other collectors would consider the sentimental value it may hold, it will not really add that much. The above-mentioned factors are the key elements in distinguishing the tray’s overall market value. Despite the fact that the silver content is a great start, it is still not enough reason for the item to sell well.
Those were only some collector’s or auctioneer’s identifying elements, there are others who also have their own ways of determining the item’s value. But whatever it may be, as long as you have basic knowledge on how the market works for sterling silver trays, you would be just fine.