| Sheila Howell

How to Care for Antique Silver

Antique silver and silver plate bring a glow to your table and made a wonderful gift and heirloom. If your silver is stored away and seldom used, that "patina' on your antique silver is probably just dirt and tarnish! When silver is exposed to air, humidity and pollution, and to sulfurs or acids in certain foods, a chemical change occurs that makes your silver dull, dark and dingy. 

Caring for antique silver is not difficult, but it must be done correctly to preserve the beauty and value of your pieces. Properly cared for silver will stay beautiful and be useful for generations. 

How to Clean Antique Silver 

Many people say silver can be safely washed in the dishwasher, however silver experts recommend washing by hand so the silver finish is not harmed by the high heats and chemicals in the dishwasher. Silverplate should always be washed by hand so the plating doesn't wear down quickly: it can be very expensive to replate silverplate pieces. 

1. Wash your silver to remove all dirt and dust. Fill your sink with hot water and add some gentle dishwashing soap such as Ivory Dish Soap. Wash your silver. Abe Silverman of Antique Silver Shop recommends using a soft baby toothbrush to gently clean heavily carved silver pieces. Dry each piece thoroughly but gently. 

2. Apply a professional silver polish according to the instructions on the container with a soft, clean cloth using a gentle, back and forth or circular motion until the tarnish is gone. Silver experts recommend Wright's Silver Cream, Goddard’s Long Shine Silver Polish, Gorham's and Twinkle Silver Polish. 

3. Rinse the polish off with hot water and dry thoroughly. Buff the silver until it shines using a soft cloth. 

How to Store Antique Silver 

Store your antique silver and silverplate in a special silverware box or in a drawer or cabinet lined with anti-tarnish flannel cloth made specifically for silver. There are special anti-tarnish bags which are designed to store your larger silver pieces. 

Jane Gray Jayes of Isaacs & Isaacs advises that it is fine to store your silver in a sealed zip-top plastic bag, but do not wrap it in plastic wrap or secure with rubber bands or wrap them in newspaper. 

How to Display Antique Silver

If you display your silver pieces, they will maintain their shine longer in a dry room with low humidity, 45-50%. Ideally, displayed silver should be kept in a display cabinet with shelves lined with anti-tarnish cloth. The Spruce suggests that camphor blocks can be added to the cabinet to help prevent tarnish, but don't let them actually touch the silver. 

The best way to care for your antique silver is to use it often, clean it after each use, and to store it in a drawer or cabinet lined with anti-tarnish flannel cloth made specifically for silver.  

Christofle Silver Plated Oval Serving Tray with Handles

Christofle Silver Plated Oval Serving Tray with Handles

Original Price $2,480.00 --> Sale Price $2,000.00 

The Malmaison pattern large silver plated oval tray with two handles ideal for beverage service or tray-passed appetizers at any event. The name is a nod to the Chateau de la Malmaison, a favored Parisian residence of Napoleon Bonaparte and Empress Josephine. This is one of Christofle's most historic patterns. It typifies the Empire style with its symmetrical design and frieze of palm and lotus leaves. 

The bottom edge has the Christofle stamp.   Circa 1910 

L 25.25" with handles, W 16.5", D 1.5"

Contact us for more photos and questions: customerservice@europeanfinds.com

European Finds has antique and vintage silver and silverplate pieces that will make a statement in your home! If you don't see what you are looking for, give us a call - we also provide antique sourcing services to help you find the perfect piece.  

Contact: customerservice@europeanfinds.com