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American Silverware

Across North and South America, silver styles followed traditions already established by their colonizing mother countries, the majority of United States’ silver followed examples set by English silver trends and patterns. Naturally however, local influences did have an impact on many areas of styles. A source of silver in the United States was not discovered until 1850. As could be expected in a country as large and varied as the U.S, many European communities developed their own tastes in silverware, which lead to a plethora of styles emerging from all over the country.


New England and the surrounding areas became the hub of silver production in the U.S. Boston attracted many London-trained silversmiths by the 1860’s, this established training was in turn passed on to local smiths. New colonial silver was simpler in style than English originals. Form and proportion was focus of attention, rather than embellishment. If required decorative items were usually imported from England.


Antique American Silver Bowl
Tiffany & Co Cup and Saucer
American Silver Teapot

Many early American pieces had essentially no uniformity, due largely to American silversmiths not using latest manufacturing techniques adopted in England. Following Boston, New York was the next most prominent US city for silver production. Being the melting pot that it is, New York saw influences from English, French, and Dutch styles.


Further notable cities for silver production as it spread across America: Salem, Massachusetts; Lancaster, Pennsylvania; Newport, Rhode Island; and Annapolis, Maryland. These provincial cities and their silversmiths however did not produce products of the same quality as those in New York, Boston, and Philadelphia.


The War of Independence brought silver production to a halt across the U.S and until the economy improved. Despite its departure from the British Empire, America continued to follow English styles in its silversmithing. During the 19th century, companies such as Tiffany & Co. were established, growing triumphant over the independent craftsmen of the day.


 
Andrew Campbell started trading in antiques during the 1970s. Initially, Andrew lived in the South of England, travelling the country, searching for items of silver to buy. Andrew sold these items at various London markets and antique fairs. Over time, and through selling at a range of venues, Andrew built up a large and diverse customer base from private buyers to national and international trade customers.
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