To answer this question I quote two online references below. The first is the Cambridge online dictionary and the second is the Wikipedia.org.
Antique Silver is two words, to define them we must split and research each seperately.
Cambridge Dictionary online defines Antique; “something made in an earlier period and collected and valued because it is beautiful, rare, old or of high quality:”
Wikipedia defines Antique as; “An antique (Latin: antiquus; old) is an old collectible item. It is collected or desirable because of its age, rarity, condition, utility, or other unique features. It is an object that represents a previous era in human society.
Antiques are usually objects which show some degree of craftsmanship, or a certain attention to design such as a desk or the early automobile. They are bought at antique shops, or passed down as an estate. Some valuable antiques can be bought from antique dealers and auction services or purchased online through websites and online auctions. Antique dealers are often members of national trade associations, many of which themselves belong to CINOA, a confederation of art and antique associations across 21 countries, representing 5000 dealers.”
It continues its definition ; The definition of antique varies from source to source, product to product, and year to year. However, some time-tested definitions of antique deserve consideration, such as the following:
1. "An item which is at least 50 to 100 years old and is collected or desirable due to rarity, condition, utility, or some other unique feature. Motor vehicles, power tools and other items subject to vigorous use in contrast, may be considered antiques in the U.S. if older than 25 years, and some electronic gadgets of more recent vintage may be considered antiques."
2. "Any piece of furniture or decorative object or the like produced in a former period and valuable because of its beauty or rarity."
In the United States, the 1930 Smoot-Hawley Tariff Act defined an antique as "works of art (except rugs and carpets made after the year 1700), collections in illustration of the progress of the arts, works in bronze, marble, terra cotta, parian, pottery or porcelain, artistic antiquities and objects of ornamental character or educational value which shall have been produced prior to the year 1830. 1830 was roughly the beginning of mass production in the U.S.
What Exactly Do We Class As Antique Silver, Here The Term Is defined
Now if we research the word Silver
Cambridge online dictionary states for Silver ; "a valuable shiny white metal that is used for making utensils, jewellery, coins and decorative objects"
Wikipedia.org states for Silver; Silver is a chemical element with the chemical symbol Ag (Latin: argentum, from the Ancient Greek: "white, shining" ) and atomic number 47. A soft, white, lustrous transition metal, it has the highest electrical conductivity of any element and the highest thermal conductivity of any metal. The metal occurs naturally in its pure, free form (native silver), as an alloy with gold (electrum) and other metals, and in minerals such as argentite and chlorargyrite. Most silver is produced as a by-product of copper, gold, lead, and zinc refining.
Silver has been known since ancient times and has long been valued as a precious metal, used to make ornaments, jewelry, high-value tableware, utensils (hence the term silverware), and currency coins. Today, silver metal is used in electrical contacts and conductors, in mirrors and in catalysis of chemical reactions. Its compounds are used in photographic film and dilute solutions of silver nitrate and other silver compounds are used as disinfectants. Although the antimicrobial uses of silver have largely been supplanted by the use of antibiotics, further research into its clinical potential is in progress.
Antique Silver for the purposes of the Silver2treasure website will mean old collectable quality items of silver made into utility items and objects which are 100 years of age or older.
We will state clearly whether the item has British Hallmarks, European Hallmarks and wherever possible will state it age and maker identified by its Makers Marks. Where we are unable to define the origin we will describe the item as white metal.
The silver we list for sale on this website is indexed as:
Please click the links above to view.