Monday, February 15, 2010

Silver Overlay – Daryle Lambert's Antiques and Collectibles Blog – Double your money and double the fun.

Beauty in the Eyes of the Beholder -
Thanks to Nelson and Nelson Aantiques

I know that you are aware of my new found interest in silver and, in particular, silver overlay pieces. The craftsmanship that it takes to overlay a pottery or glass piece with silver can only be accomplished by a master. The silver that is overlaid must enhance the beauty of the piece or it would be better left off.

The silver on such pieces as Tiffany, Steuben and Loetz will usually carry the hallmark showing where the silver was manufactured and by whom. How skilled must you be to overlay a piece of glass with silver without damaging the piece itself? Not only must the artist apply the silver but he then has to add the delicate designs to the silver that enhances its beauty. The silver may add as much as 200 to 300 percent to the value of the piece.

Glass is a rather hard substance but how about pottery? It scares me to even think about a beautiful Rookwood vase having silver worked around it and then that silver being tooled into the beautiful patterns that bring out all the subtle features of the piece. Some of the most expensive items that I have encountered by Rookwood were heavily encrusted with the most fantastic silver overlay that you could possible imagine.

I just purchased a small Loetz overlay piece and it troubles me that I wish I didn't have to sell it. Not only that, but there was another piece of Loetz that I wasn't able to buy that I haven't been able to get out of my mind. Remember my rule. Don't fall in love with the items you purchase. It seems the silver overlay items are testing my resolve.

There are two types of silver overlay; one where it seems that the silver was painted on and the other where the silver is substantial. The type of overlay that is attracting my attention is the type that is substantial and the silver seems to encase the piece as if it were a beautiful bracelet adorning a lady’s arm. Here is an example of what I mean. A Chevrolet is an automobile but it isn't a Mercedes. Well, a vase is a vase, but if it is adorned with beautiful silver worked by a master silversmith, it becomes much more than simply a vase.

I would be interested in any silver overlay pieces that you may run across and I might perhaps be your best market for their sale, so please keep me in mind..

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1 comment:

  1. That is gorgeous! I understand the appeal--I have a piece of Depression glass overlaid with silver. Its value is nowhere in the neighborhood of the works you mention, of course, but it's one of my favorite pieces nonetheless.

    Carrie Hunnicutt
    Fine & Decorative Arts Dept.
    Heritage Auctions (
    1-800-872-6467 X1613