Silver tea sets have evolved much like fashion trends. While antique sets were marked by their time-specific detailing and decoration, modern ones boast a mix-and-match style. In fact, it is possible to date a silver set based on its lettering, decoration, handle style, spouts, and finials.
This trend continued into the 19th century; wherein silver became an indication of the family's wealth. The discovery of electroplating, however, made silvery teapots set for the middle class. Advances in machine technology also enhanced the possibility of creating highly intricate and fashionable patterns and motifs.
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Silver Tea Sets: How to Care, Handle and Store
While the beauty and functionality of silver tea sets are unmatched, they require care, proper handling, cleaning, and storage. Here are some useful tips:
* Always support your teapot at the bottom while holding it by the handle
* Store your dried ware in low humid, low sulfur conditions
* Use silica gel to absorb moisture in the storage compartment
* Ensure that they are free of dust, dirt, and grease
* Avoid using soaps, harsh chemicals, detergents, and old polishes that can create scratches
* Take professional help when unsure about cleaning techniques, such as electrochemical reduction or chemical dips.
* Daily-use materials can be hand-washed with phosphate-free detergents and dried immediately.
* To remove coffee or tea stains, dip a cellulose sponge in cleaners like Wright's Silver Cream, and wipe away the stain. Rinse well with warm water.