Online Encyclopedia of Silver Marks, Hallmarks & Makers' Marks
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Illustrated Silver Glossary (S - W)

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Salt Cellar - A master salt cellar is an open topped salt container that is passed around the table with each diner taking a spoonful to use during the meal.
An individual salt is a smaller version used at each place setting.
(submitted by - JLDoggett)
Salver - A tray or flat dish used to present letters and drinks, usually round and supported by three or four feet. see: Waiter
(submitted by - Miles)
Satin Finish - A matte or frosted finish accomplished by brushing or chemical means. Also called a Butler's finish.
Scent Heart - Scandinavian vinaigrette or spicebox, in Danish called a hovedvandsæg, in Norwegian a luktevannshus. These scent boxes were often given as love tokens by young men to their intendeds, hence the heart and crown motif. Often a secondary compartment in the base.
Scroll - A volute form decorative element, a spiral.
Sexfoil - Lobed design based on a six leaf petal.
(submitted by - Trev)
Shagreen - Sharkskin covering for boxes, caskets etc. usually dyed green with vegetable dye, it has a rough feel to the touch. The nubs are sometimes ground flush as in the example at left.
(submitted by - Trev)
Sheffield Plate - A mechanical process of fusing a thin sheet of silver to a thicker core of copper by means of heating and rolling. This process was invented by Thomas Boulsover in Sheffield in the mid-eighteenth century and proved to be very popular. By 1765 the sandwiched metal was being used to make objects that imitated silver, yet were less expensive, even though the actual fabrication was much more difficult. Sheffield Plate was made until around 1860 although the technique had already begun to be replaced by electroplating in 1840.
Silent Butler - A small container, usually with a hinged lid and turned wood handle, for transport of table sweepings and the contents of ashtrays.
Silver Gilt - Gold plated or gilded silver.
Silverplate - Objects that are subjected to the plating process in order to resemble genuine silver.
Skewer - Tapering shanks with a flattened diamond cross section used for piercing meat. They usually date from 1720-1860 and often ending with a ring terminal. They came in various sizes, commonly being 10-14 inches with smaller ones made for use with poultry. They are now often used as letter openers.
(submitted by - Trev)
Snuff Mull - Containers for storing snuff, ranging from pocket size to communal table models, these are very much a Scottish item. Made of horn, bone or wood they are very often silver mounted and often have suspension chains to hang from a belt.
(submitted by - Trev)
Snuff Box - a small box in metal, ivory, bone, hard stone or ceramic, used to hold snuff for dipping.
(submitted by - JLDoggett)
Snuff Spoon - Small elongated spoon for use with snuff boxes, few have survived.
(submitted by - Trev)
Snuffer - Scissor-like device for trimming candle wicks with a box container on one blade to catch the cuttings. Before the introduction of paraffin wax, candlewicks did not burn down and acquired a cauliflower-like deposit of carbon which had to be periodally trimmed.
(submitted by - Trev)
Soldering - The technique of joining metallic parts by using a silver alloy, flux and high heat.
Spinning - Technique of turning sheet silver on a lathe over a wooden form. It enables the achievement of precise curves and contours, but the resulting product is usually very light in gauge.
Sprue - A projection left on an article resulting from the casting process. For assay, they are often left on the object so that the assayer can use them rather than damaging the item. Also known as Getts or Gates.
(submitted by - Trev)
Spur - A short, curved projection at the top of a handle, usually seen on mugs and tankards, and used to aid in holding the object or keeping a hinged lid from damaging the handle.
Standish - Antiquated term for what became known as the inkstand in the Victorian era.
(submitted by - Patrick)
Sterling Silver - An English term for the alloy of 92.5% fine silver and 7.5% copper or base metal alloy. Originally based on English coinage and used only in the British Isles, this standard has, over time, become the predominant silver standard used around the world.
Stirrup Cup - a small cup used to serve wine or another beverage to a person on horseback. Most often used to serve port to the riders before a hunt, they often take the form of a fox or hound head.
(submitted by - JLDoggett)
Sugar Box - A covered and usually lockable container for storing lump sugar.
(submitted by - JLDoggett)
Sugar Tongs - Dating from the late 17th C., a device for moving lump or cube sugar from sugar bowl to teacup. Usually wrought from sheet silver, but sometimes cast, the metal is bent double and hardened, essentially turning it into a spring. The end grips are often in the form of shells, claws or paws.
Swage - A hollow into which sheet metal is hammered to give it form and depth.
(submitted by - Trev)
Tally Mark - An 'extra' mark used "in shop" to identify which pieces a journeyman smith actually made. This mark enable the journeyman's production to be tallied so that he could be paid appropriately. Most often seen on British sterling and American coin silver.
Tankard - a single handled drink (beer or ale) container with a lid.
(submitted by - JLDoggett)
Tastevin - A wine taster, the form is a small shallow bowl, usually with one handle, sometimes two.
Tempering - The heating of steel to specific high temperatures to strengthen it.
(submitted by - Trev)
Thimble - A metal, ivory or bone covering for a fingertip, usually covered by shallow dimples, used in sewing to push the needle through the fabric.
(submitted by - JLDoggett)
Thread Edge - Border or edging created with narrow lines of reeding.
(submitted by - Trev)
Thurible - see; Censer
Toys - Not a childs' plaything but an early & obsolete term for small items of silver such as buttons and buckles.
(submitted by - Trev)
Trademark - A mark consisting of a particular company's trade name or symbol. Such as Whiting's "Winged Lion & W"
Trefid - A type of flatware pattern where the plain handle broadens and terminates in two notches cut to create three lobes with the centre one turned up, popular c.1660-1700 and is usually accompanied with a Rat-Tail bowl. see; Dognose
(submitted by - Trev)
Trefoil - Lobed design based on a three leaf petal, as is the cartouche form of this Wakely & Wheeler maker's mark.
Trencher Salt - Solid sided salt cellar with an oval or circular well, popular until about 1725.
(submitted by - Trev)
Trial of the Diet - British term, an assay of the combined silver samplings (diet) taken over a given period by the assayer for the Goldsmith's Company . It is performed at least once a year, to ensure the assayer is doing his duties to the required standard and is overseen by members of the Court of Assistants of the Goldsmiths' Company.
(submitted by - Trev)
Trial of the Pyx - British term, a full examination into the coins produced by the Royal Mint as required by law, this has been carried out by members of the Goldsmiths' Company since 1560.
(submitted by - Trev)
Troy Weight - Unit of weight measure used by goldsmiths and silversmiths and intended solely for measuring precious metals, a pound Troy has 12 ounces, each ounce composed of 20 pennyweights. One pound Troy equals 373.2 grams.
Tumbler - A cup with a rounded base that was thicker and heavier than the sides. The weighty bottom gave the cup a very low center of gravity causing the tumbler to always resume an upright position. They vary greatly in size and were popular during the late 17th century and 18th centuries.
(submitted by - Patrick)
Tyg - Of English origin, a mug with three or more handles dividing the rim into sections for several drinkers. These drinking vessels were produced from the 15th century through the first half of the 17th century, peaking in popularity during the 16th and 17th centuries. The form revived in the Victorian era becoming a common form for presentation and trophy cups.

Vermeil - see; Silver Gilt
Vesta Case - Thin boxes made to hold friction matches after their invention ca.1840. They have been known as "Vestas" since the late 19th century and were named for the Roman goddess of the hearth. Often called 'match safes' in America.
(submitted by - Patrick)
Vinaigrette - A small box-like container used to hold a sponge steeped in aromatic vinegar. The vinaigrette was held to the nose when one encountered unpleasant odors. Most had a solid lid to conserve the perfume and a pierced grill held the sponge in place. Introduced in the mid 18th century and especially popular in first third of the 19th century.
(submitted by - Patrick)
Waiter - A single drink serving tray. see; Salver
White Metal - An alloy used as a base for silverplating, very similar in composition to Britannia Metal. Composed of tin, antimony, copper and bismuth may be added. It is easily cast and worked, now used principally for trim and attached parts.
(submitted by - Patrick)
Wine Coaster - A shallow, flat-bottomed, container with upright sides, used to prevent wine bottles being placed directly on a table and thereby marring the finish. British and American versions often have wooden bottoms.
(submitted by - JLDoggett)
Wine Funnel - Funnel with a detachable strainer for transfering wine into other bottles or decanters, the outlet pipe is turned to allow the wine to run down the side of the decanter to enable checking for any deterioration.
(submitted by - Trev)
Wine Wagon - Twin coasters mounted on wheels, used for passing wine or port around the dining table.
(submitted by - Trev)

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Related Pages at
American Silver Marks
British Hallmarks
Austrian Hallmarks
Dutch Hallmarks
Finnish Hallmarks & Makers
French Hallmarks & Makers
German Hallmarks
Italian Marks from 1872
Swedish Hallmarks
Danish Makers
Norwegian Makers
David-Andersen Marks
Georg Jensen Marks
Yogya Silver
Mexican Marks & Makers
Chinese Export Marks
Silverplate Trademarks

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