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What is a sterling silver platter?
The platter is dishware defined to be a large plate that is mainly used to serve food or meals. In restaurants and dining, platter refers to a dish with a variety of foods on the same plate. Its large feature is meant to carry large amounts of food that is usually served in groups of diners. Platters also come in many different shapes like round, oval, square, or rectangular. In addition, it could be made out of metal, ceramic, plastic, glass, or wood and it can be plain and ornate which would suit any formal occasion. In this kind of setting, sterling silver platters or silver-plated platters come out and the antique ones are somehow valuable.
Since the purpose of the platter is to hold a larger amount of food compared to plates, it is a good strategy to have all varieties of food in one go. It is actually helpful to have a taste test first before deciding which one you’re going to eat.
Platters originated from the idea of French hors d’oeuvres or as we call it today as “appetizers” in general. The concept was more of a small dish that is served before the meal. Hors d’oeuvres mean “outside the work” or “meal.” Chef Potenza of Chef Walter’s Cooking Show and Culinary Council, different cultures gotten used to pre-meal snacks for many years. This behavior was believed to be first seen in ancient Greeks and Romans when they served fish, vegetables, cheese, and olives in small portions.
In the 1890s, the term “appetizers” had become a menu concept. This pertains to the food that is served before the soup in English and American dining setting. This variety serves many kinds of small portioned foods like raw oysters, clams, caviar on toast, and other luxurious bite-sized decadent. Later on, this part of the meal has evolved into more affordable recipes and a lot of restaurants adapted to the concept to follow the trend.
With the continued evolution of appetizers and making sure that it would suit the taste of many people, then came about the sample platters. Different appetizers were served in a platter, which is larger than a plate. Multiple appetizers were then displayed for people to choose from, which makes it look like a tasting menu.
Nowadays, you can see a lot of varieties of popular American sampler platter which includes onion rings, mozzarella sticks, egg rolls, chicken tenders or wings, quesadillas, and more other options that are served with dipping sauces. Basically biteable food that could definitely boost up an appetite, and most of the time, restaurants would present fried goodies.
Now, since the origin of the platter has been revealed, let’s find out how much a sterling silver platter would be worth. Truthfully, antique sterling silver platters are not only valuable because of its metallic feature, but also because of its beautiful design and carvings, not to mention the age of the platter adds up to the value.
There are specific brands and manufacturers that you may want to look out for when eyeing for sterling silver platters. Some of them are Tiffany & Co., Art Nouveau, Fairfax, International in Meriden, George Bryan & Co., Edwardian Sterling Silver by William B. Kerr, Classical Silver Tray by Puiforcat, and many more. These brands have antique collections that would be amounting to thousands of dollars. Price ranges from $1000 to at least $100, 000. It sounds crazy, but that is how much this antique sterling silver platter is.
Aside from the manufacturers, the marks would also help verify the value of the item. Since ancient Egyptian times, many other cultures followed the use of precious metals in the dining table which imposes their wealth and power towards society. However, over the years, people sought to conserve the excessive use of precious metals like gold and silver for home items like utensils, plates, cups, and many more.
This was also intensified when England practiced using a standard mixture of 92.5 percent silver and 7.5 percent of copper-alloy. The standard was then declared by King Edward the First in the 13th century. This standard has been strictly followed in the country until the present day. Although England was the first country to mass produce sterling silverware, other European countries followed, including America. To know which ones are valuable, you may want to look at their markings.
- In America, the combination of 92.5 silver and 7.5 base metal was called a “sterling standard” which has been used since the middle of 1860. The mark “925” expresses the silver content of the item. This triggered for uniformity across other countries to follow the global standard in their production. You may have encountered this mark with many sterling silver items since this has become globally known.
- English Hallmarks that are produced from 1890 to 1999 has five symbols to grade its worth. The town mark is the symbol of the town in which the silver content was certified. The date letter is the symbol of the year it was manufactured. The maker’s mark which represents the factory or silversmith that forged the item. The lion passant that certifies that the item followed the standard and is guaranteed to have silver content. Lastly is optional, the profile of the current king or queen.
Dealing with sterling silver platters and other silverware should be done with focus as a lot of fake and silver-plated items have been massively produced and it is sometimes hard to distinguish the difference of authentic and fake. To avoid getting a fake, compare the marks of the one being sold to the samples in books or any originals that you have for reference. Since originals are stamped with machines, it will most likely have a delicate and refined mark. Unlike the fake one, the stamps are not really well put since the forgers cannot afford the machine and time it will consume in making.
Thinking that sterling silver platters are quite big and very expensive, most likely there would be collectors who would cheat on you for it. If you are the buyer, make sure to examine the item before handing the payment. Both ways, you must be careful and do your own research about the item you are selling or buying.