Antique Sterling Silver from Nelson and Nelson Antiques

Nelson & Nelson Antiques

Tips To Properly Clean Antique Sterling Silver Flatware

May 8, 2024 1:03 pm
Antiques : Decorative Art : Metals : Silver : Sterling

Antique sterling silver flatware is a beautiful addition to any home, offering a touch of history to your dining experience. However, maintaining the shine and luster of these precious pieces requires proper care and cleaning. Review tips to properly clean antique sterling silver flatware to maintain your pieces. 

Use Gentle Cleaning Methods

Always opt for mild dish soap and warm water when cleaning your sterling silver flatware. Hand-wash your pieces, ensuring you’re not soaking them for extended periods. Although you can technically use a dishwasher for flatware, avoiding this method is best to prevent damage. Dishwashers can cause silver to tarnish rapidly due to the harsh detergents, high temperatures, and the risk of knocking pieces against each other.

Remove Tarnish With Care

Tarnish is a common issue with sterling silver, but you can remove it with the right techniques. Using a specialized silver polish or a nonabrasive silver cleaning cloth is an excellent tip for properly cleaning antique sterling silver flatware. Use the materials to gently polish your flatware in a circular motion. Pay extra attention to engraved or detailed areas, as tarnish can accumulate in these crevices.

Rinse and Dry Thoroughly

After cleaning your antique sterling silver flatware, you should rinse each piece thoroughly to remove any remaining soap or polish residue. Immediately dry the flatware with a soft, lint-free cloth to prevent water spots and tarnish from reappearing. Avoid letting your silver air-dry, as this can lead to unsightly marks or streaks.

Store Your Flatware Properly

Proper storage is key to maintaining your antique sterling flatware between uses. Store your pieces in anti-tarnish cloth. This material helps protect your flatware from air and moisture, which are the primary causes of tarnishing. Avoid storing your silver with rubber bands or other materials that emit sulfur, as this can lead to discoloration.

Regular Maintenance Is Key

Regularly inspect each piece for tarnish or discoloration to keep your flatware looking its best. Address any issues promptly to prevent tarnish from becoming too difficult to remove. Consistency in cleaning and maintenance will help preserve your flatware’s beauty and value for generations to come.

Common Mistakes To Avoid

While caring for your antique sterling silver flatware, be sure to avoid these common mistakes:

  • Using steel wool or harsh chemicals that can scratch your silver’s delicate surface
  • Storing your flatware in areas with high humidity or near direct sunlight (it can accelerate tarnishing)
  • Leaving your silver wet or allowing water spots to dry on the surface, as it can lead to permanent marks or discoloration
  • Neglecting regular cleaning and maintenance allows tarnish to build up and become more challenging to remove over time.

By following these tips and avoiding common mistakes, you can ensure that your sterling flatware remains a stunning part of your home. These timeless pieces will continue to sparkle and impress at every gathering, adding a touch of sophistication to your dining experience.

Signs Your Antique Items Are Worth Selling

May 2, 2024 11:51 am

Understanding the value of antique items can lead to significant earnings. However, not all old items are worth the same, so it’s important to know what factors influence sales. Read the key signs your antique items are worth selling for valuable information.


The timeline of an object plays a pivotal role in determining its worth. “Antiques” must be at least 100 years old, a threshold that adds historical significance and value. Look for items hailing from notable eras rich in history—these pieces typically hold more intrigue and demand among collectors.


Exquisite artistry is a tell-tale sign of a valuable piece. Handcrafted items resonate with the artistic ability and effort of an era when craft was as important as function. Inspect your antique for intricate work, detailed carvings, or hand-sewn fabrics that reflect superior quality—they will likely enhance its value.

Rarity and Uniqueness

One of the most crucial factors in an antique’s value is its rarity. Your antique items are worth selling if they’re unique or limited edition. Rare items tend to draw high interest from collectors constantly searching for the “next big addition” to their collection. If your item is one of the few survivors of its kind, it may command a high price.


The condition of an item significantly influences its value. True antiques are preserved in their original state or those with minimal restoration. Look for original finishes, fabrics, and parts—these are signs of an item that has withstood the test of time.

Signatures, Marks, and Stamps

Authenticity helps in appraising an item’s worth. Check your antique for any maker’s marks, hallmarks, or signatures that can help you identify its origin. Authentic marks contribute to the ease of verification and an item’s value.

Every antique tells a story, and its historical and cultural significance determines its value. Before you consider selling your items, evaluate them for these indicators—you may be sitting on a treasure trove!

Market Trends

Like the stock market, trends and demands influence the antique world. Conduct research to grasp what’s fashionable and identify items commanding high prices. Sometimes, even ordinary objects may gain unexpected value due to their newfound popularity!

If you’re looking to explore more about the treasures you own, consider visiting Nelson and Nelson Antiques, where an exquisite collection awaits. For those wishing to browse antique silver online, our curations are as compelling as they are diverse, satisfying both the curious and the connoisseur.

Things To Consider When Shopping for Antiques

April 11, 2024 8:09 am

Whether you're a seasoned collector or a novice enchanted by the timeless allure of antiques, acquiring new pieces is incredibly rewarding. However, navigating the complexities of shopping requires more than an eye for beauty. Review the things to consider when shopping for antiques to ensure you make informed decisions. 


One of the biggest challenges in antique shopping is verifying the authenticity of a piece. Counterfeit and reproduced items are common pitfalls. Consulting with experts or utilizing online resources can offer invaluable insights. Furthermore, shopping at a reputable antique silver store can increase the likelihood of purchasing genuine items. You can also work with professional appraisers who have a keen eye for authentic pieces and can spot discrepancies.

Condition and Restoration

When shopping for antiques, consider the condition of each piece because it heavily influences its value and aesthetics. Carefully inspect each item for signs of damage, such as cracks, chips, or repairs. While some wear is acceptable and can add to the antique's charm, significant damage or poor-quality restorations might diminish its worth. Be sure to ask the seller about any known restorations or alterations.


Provenance, or the item's ownership history, can significantly enhance an antique's appeal and value. Pieces with a well-documented history connecting them to notable events, places, or individuals carry an extra layer of intrigue. If an item's provenance is available, verify the information and consider its impact on the piece's overall value.

Price Comparison

Before making a purchase, compare prices from multiple sources. Visit different antique stores, check online marketplaces, and attend auctions to get a sense of what similar items are selling for. This research can prevent you from overpaying and help you identify deals.


Consider the logistics of transporting and storing your antique, particularly for sizable furniture or fragile items. Make sure you have the means to transport your antiques safely and allocate a suitable space for displaying or storing them. Additionally, research and invest in appropriate packaging materials that offer adequate protection. For storage, ensure the environment is conducive to preserving the antique's condition, accounting for humidity, temperature, and light exposure.

Beyond Monetary Value

Finally, while antiques can serve as valuable assets, the most rewarding part of collecting is appreciating each piece's unique story and craftsmanship. Value your antiques for the history they carry and the beauty they introduce into your life instead of focusing solely on their potential for monetary gain.

Shopping for antiques is a passion that bridges our connection with the past. By following our advice, you can confidently purchase pieces and build a meaningful collection that you will cherish.

5 Things To Know About Sterling Silver Flatware

March 20, 2024 11:45 am
Antiques : Decorative Art : Metals : Silver : Sterling

A table set with sterling silver evokes tradition and fine craftsmanship that few other materials can match. Whether you’re an avid collector or antique admirer, there are five things to know about sterling silver flatware. This knowledge will help you appreciate the value and significance of these beautiful antiques.

Care and Maintenance

Sterling silver flatware, while durable, requires a certain level of care to maintain its lustrous appearance. Over time, silver can tarnish when exposed to air and sulfur-containing substances. Regular, gentle cleaning with a flatware-safe polish can prevent tarnish and keep your flatware visually pleasing. It's also advisable to store your silver in a dry place, ideally in cloth pouches that prevent scratches and minimize exposure to air. Lastly, hand washing is the best way to keep your pieces pristine.

Identifying Genuine Sterling Silver

Not all silver flatware is the same. Sterling silver has 92.5 percent silver and 7.5 percent other materials (like copper), which makes it robust. To ensure you’re purchasing genuine sterling silver, look for hallmarks or stamps that indicate its authenticity. These usually include the sterling mark ("925" or "Ster"), along with a manufacturer's stamp.

Historical Significance

Historical significance is another important thing to know about sterling silver flatware. People in the 14th century prized sterling silver flatware for its beauty and purity. So it carried a rich history and symbolized wealth and status. People passed down sterling silver flatware from generation to generation as cherished heirlooms. The designs and patterns of flatware reflect their times' artistic and cultural trends, making them not just utensils but also pieces of history.

Contemporary Uses and Trends

Modern designers blend the timeless appeal of silver with contemporary aesthetics, making them suitable for any setting, from casual brunches to formal dinners. Mixing and matching different patterns can add a unique touch to your table setting, reflecting a more relaxed approach to dining etiquette that’s in line with current trends. Additionally, many people now view sterling silver as an investment in sustainable living, choosing reusable over disposable.

Where To Purchase Antique Flatware

You can buy antique flatware sets from antique stores like Nelson and Nelson. For those interested in newer designs, luxury department stores and specialized retailers offer a range of options from classic to contemporary styles. Additionally, online marketplaces can be a treasure trove for both antique enthusiasts and those seeking modern designs. Regardless of your preference, you should buy from reputable dealers to ensure authenticity.

Sterling Holloware Maintenance Tips You Need To Know

March 13, 2024 11:46 am
Archives : Decorative Art : Metals : Silver : Sterling

Sterling silver holloware adds a touch of elegance and tradition to any collection. Yet, maintaining its pristine condition requires a bit of know-how and effort. Well, we have the best advice to help you! Here are some sterling holloware maintenance tips you need to know to preserve your collection’s beauty and value for generations to come.

Gentle Hand Washing Is Key

Always opt for hand washing your sterling holloware using warm water and a mild liquid detergent. Harsh solutions or abrasive cleaning tools can scratch the surface or damage the silver. Use a soft sponge to wash the items gently, ensuring you get into all the nooks and crannies without being too forceful.

Dry Immediately To Prevent Water Spots

Water spots can detract from your silver’s appearance and contribute to tarnishing over time. So, thoroughly drying each piece is a sterling holloware maintenance tip you need to know. Make sure to use a soft, lint-free cloth for proper drying.

Polish To Preserve the Luster

Polishing your sterling holloware is essential to maintain its shine and prevent tarnish. Use a high-quality silver polish and follow the manufacturer’s instructions carefully. Apply the polish with a cloth in a circular motion and avoid over-polishing as doing so can damage the silver over time.

Proper Storage Is Critical

Store your sterling holloware in a tarnish-resistant cloth or a storage chest for silver when you’re not using them. Properly storing your holloware will significantly slow down tarnishing when silver reacts with the air’s sulfur compounds. Ensure each piece is completely dry before storing them to prevent any moisture-related damage.

Handle With Care

Sterling silver is a soft metal, making it susceptible to scratches, dents, and other physical damage. Handle your holloware pieces carefully and avoid stacking or overcrowding them. Soft, padded dividers can prevent scratches and keep your pieces immaculate.

Regular Inspection Is Necessary

Periodically inspect your sterling holloware for any signs of damage, including loose handles or hinges. Early detection can prevent further damage and might save you from costly repairs down the line. Consult a professional silversmith or silver restoration specialist if you’re unsure how to fix a problem.