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In ancient days (pre-20 is the name for the hand fused silver sandwich, crafted around the city or area of Sheffield, England, from 1750-1840.(It is usually not marked and often bears the visible layers of different colored metal on edges.) Silverplate is the common term for electroplating and can be done on copper, nickel silver (sometimes called “German silver”), white metal, or other base element.This process still consumed a great deal of time and demanded great craftsmanship, but it was cheaper than sterling silver.The fact the middle class was emerging as a strong marketplace, coupled with the British passion for serving tea in fancy 5 piece services displaying their apparent wealth and hospitality, saw a massive amount of “production” of this hybrid-one that rivaled the sterling output of the goldsmiths of the day.The articles could be crafted in the original material (copper or nickel), and then dipped in a silver solution bath to coat it with the silver surface.
Electroplating was much faster and even less costly.Therefore, silver from London would be called “marks on London plate,” whereas others could be marks on Exeter, Chester or Newcastle plate, etc.