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History of the Silver Salver

The word ‘salver’ is derived from the Latin ‘salvare’ meaning ‘to preserve or save’.

Originally, the use of a salver in medieval times (400 – 1400 AD) signified that the food or drink served from it had been tested for poison, and the intended recipient - often royalty - would therefore be ‘safe’.

Salvers are flat, handle-less trays or platters which may be circular or rectangular, or less commonly, octagonal in form. Salvers may be supported by a central foot, three or four individual feet, or have a flat base (trays of a similar design, but with a diameter of less than 25cm/6” are usually know as waiters). Salvers were used to present food and drink in a more ceremonial fashion at social gatherings.

In the mid 1600s, silver salvers were fashioned with a broad rim, often decorated to match an accompanying cup. Over time, such items became separated, and salvers became individual pieces in their own right.

By the mid 1700s salvers became part of tea equipage as tea drinking became fashionable. It was around this time that hexafoil or octafoil salvers with applied gadrooned borders appeared.

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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