Golden Information on Silver at Heritage

Heritage AuctionsTraffic was heavy and so I arrived late for 2nd Tuesday’s at Slocum at Heritage Galleries in Dallas. These events provide some of the best opportunities anywhere in the metro to learn about antiques and fine art, and so I knew it wasn’t to be missed. This session was an introduction to collecting silver.

When I arrived there were so many cars outside I figured the wine and cheese would be gone. Happily I was handed a glass when I walked in the door and headed over to a room setup that was new to me. The tables had been placed in two large squares and white gloves lay at each table setting. The lecture by Tim Rigdon, director of silver and vertu at Heritage, was already in progress. I’m afraid I missed the bulk of it, but the portion I did catch provided an overview of the varying degrees of quality in some regency silver, and described how pairs of silver become mis-matched over the years. Shown on the screen was a pair of Regency urns, one predating the other. Higdon says he was able to find another such pair in a Virginia museum. Obviously the pairings became switched over time.

English silver, American silver, Mexican silver Chinese silver and even Sheffield Plate were discussed. Then it was time to put on the white gloves and begin to look at hallmarks.

It’s hard to come away from these events with enough knowledge to be able to look at objects with a measurable increased intelligence, so perhaps the most useful portion was the book recommendations. They include the Encyclopedia of American Silver Manufacturers (Schiffer Book for Collectors) and for the English silver, the Pocket Edition Jackson’s Hallmarks.

If you weren’t able to attend, or were late like me, it’s a great service that Heritage records these events and makes them available online. (click on the Reference tab at www.ha.com) You’ll have to supply the wine and cheese.

About Eric Miller

Eric Miller is co-founder and contributor to Urban Art & Antiques. His website is ericmiller.me

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