AC Silver is pleased to offer a fine range of antique silver canteens of cutlery for sale. Our diverse selection of sterling silver canteens of cutlery ranges from antique Victorian silverware through to vintage cutlery canteens crafted in the 20th century.
At AC Silver we have canteens ranging from a basic table service containing the more typical pieces such as table fork, table knife and teaspoons to the more comprehensive services containing in excess of 100 pieces. Such sets will include more extravagant serving pieces such as tongs, silver ladles, carving sets and grape shears.
If your silver flatware or cutlery is fitted to a canteen box it can increase the services value, in addition to being a very aesthetically pleasing way to present and store each piece. Here at AC Silver, we have an impressive collection of boxed canteens of cutlery, visible above. For those services which don’t include a box, anti-tarnishing felt rolls are provided for storage and safe keeping of your cutlery.
The term 'canteen' originates from the 18th century, meaning a store of some kind. The word is used to reference both the box containing the cutlery as well as the cutlery itself. Most canteens are made up with knives, forks, and spoons, with various additional pieces of flatware added to the more extravagant canteens. Serving spoons, gravy spoons, and tongs of different sizes are all examples of additional pieces of flatware that may be included in a canteen of cutlery.
The framework of table services affects the setting, atmosphere and overall quality. The English standard of table service is often considered to consist of twelve soup spoons, table knives and forks, dessert knives, forks and spoons, in addition to tea and coffee spoons. Regardless of this, many households feature a larger table service which can accommodate as many as 100 guests. Only a limited amount of table services of such a large size were manufactured, with the majority of them being split over the years. Having said this, many of the larger table services are still in use today. Such services are referred to as canteens which feature their original wooden cases and a common configuration of 36 table knives and forks, 18 or 24 dessert knives and forks in addition to 18 dessert spoons.
Most Victorian table services are often still to be found intact. These larger settings from the 19th century hold everything from egg spoons with their own gilded bowls to fruit eaters which occasionally featured mother-of-pearl handles.
One factor which is very personable yet important when deciding on which service to purchase the flatware pattern. Here at AC Silver, we have a wide selection of patterns available; including the popular Kings pattern, Queens pattern, Old English pattern, Hanoverian pattern and many more.
You can browse our collection by ‘pattern’ filters on the left-hand side of this page.
Learn more about silver flatware patterns.
When you see canteens described as "straight", this means all the pieces are made by the same maker in the same year. This implies the service was crafted together and note separated or added to over time.
Predominately all antique silver canteens have replacement knives as the originals have not stood the test of time.