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Silver Trophy

Buying Antique Silver Trophies

If you are looking for a niche market for collectables, antique silver trophies are a good place to start. Highly affordable and likely to hold their value even in volatile markets, they also look great in a display cabinet.

While you might find a few rare trophies dating back several hundred years if you look hard enough, most on the market today is from the Victorian era and the early 20th century. This is when various clubs began to start competitions and became more structured. Silver was a natural material to create trophies from, it was easy to maintain and readily available with a range of high-quality manufacturers across Great Britain.

You can find silver trophies that were used in various sporting and even agricultural events through the last couple of centuries and most come with a clear provenance. Expect to pay anywhere between several hundred pounds and a few thousand depending on the age and silver quality.

Tips for Collecting Antique Silver Trophies

One of the issues with antique silver trophies is that they may have been used for presentations several times for various sporting events. If the inscription on the trophy you are considering was the original from when it was first made, then it’s not a problem.

If a new inscription or several have been added, however, this act of re-engraving can cause weak spots and other damage that might not be immediately visible. One trick is to add a new cover – if this is the case, it should have a hallmark that matches the original for the trophy otherwise this can affect the value.

Most antique silver trophies today will come with a completely new, handcrafted plinth that can be engraved with the actual cup left untouched. This makes it ideal for special sporting occasions and events as well as decorative ornaments for the home.

Another issue you need to consider when buying is whether an antique trophy itself has been hand-made or machine-made. Most early 20th century and all Victorian and Georgian trophies will have been made by hand and therefore have a much higher value. Mass production using lathe spinning techniques were introduced around the 1940s and these tend to be of lower quality.

The Benefits of Buying Antique Silver Trophies

While many people buy antique silver for its amazing sheen and design, there’s usually more than just a casual nod to value.

If you are buying silver trophies as an investment for the future, then the good news is that it tends to hold its value pretty well, even when the market is volatile. Antique silver has remained popular as a collectable over the years and there’s always a strong market if you decide to buy for this reason.

Antique vs Vintage Silver Trophies

Silver tends to be considered antique if it is older than about 100 years. When you look at the handmade trophies that were made between about 1750 and the early 20th century, this is the most profitable area to focus on if you are planning on creating a collection with a good investment value.

You can still find non-mass produced trophies later than this that are handmade and it’s worth looking around for specialist makers like Walker and Hall. These types of trophies are generally classed as vintage. These are still a good investment for collectors and there are some stunning designs to choose from.

Antique Silver Trophy Makers to Look Out For

At Edinburgh Silver, we have a range of elegant antique trophies, tankards and salvers in stock that are ideal for awards and sporting events as well as for home decoration and collecting as an investment for the future. Some of the most notable trophy makers include:

Charles Stuart Harris

Charles Stuart Harris took over the family spoon and fork manufacturing business in 1852. With the development of electroplating, he broadened output to include a wider range of silver artefacts including trophies. The company went limited in 1897 and had premises in Hatton Garden and Soho and they continued to trade until 1937.

A typical antique trophy would be solid silver with scroll handles. The hallmark is a CS over an H with a retailer stamp for Drew and Sons.

Walker and Hall

Walker and Hall were established by George Walker in 1845 and became one of the most renowned silversmiths in Sheffield. Henry Hall joined the company in 1853 and they quickly grew to have premises not just across Great Britain but around the world in locations such as Australia, South Africa and New Zealand.

The hallmark is typically a W & H held within a tapered flag.

Elkington & Co

Another well-known name in silverware, antique trophies manufactured by Elkington are also highly collectable. Founded in Birmingham in the 1830s, the company continued to operate until 1963 when it was taken over by British Silverware Ltd. The company produced a wide range of ornate and very intricate pieces and received several royal warrants.

The main hallmark is E & Co held in a shield sometimes with the world electroplate stamped in three portions.

Charles Thomas Fox and George Fox

Fox silverware was popular in the early part of the 19th century and again is highly collectable, especially when it comes to antique trophies. Operating out of Goswell Street in London, the company was handed down through various members of the family until it finally closed in 1921.

The hallmark varies depending on the member of the family so you are likely to see CF, GF and CTF & GF.

Why Buy Antique Silver Trophies From a Silverware Expert

Whether you are buying an antique silver trophy as an investment, for a sporting event or simply as a gift, it pays to buy from an expert company that you can rely on. At Edinburgh Silver, we have high quality, hallmarked solid silver products from some of the most renowned silverware companies in the world.

If you’d like to find out more, browse our current collection of antique silver trophies today.

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