ANTIQUE SILVER ANIMALS
Antique Silver animals Description:
A realistic representation of, normally, well-known domestic and wild animals such as Labrador dogs, Pheasants, or Foxes.
Antique Silver animals History:
There are very few examples before 1850. Most of the larger examples before this period have been removed from larger centrepieces and were not made as single items. The vast majority of old or antique silver animal models are made after 1880, and anything pre-1900 is now considered quite rare. During the latter parts of the Victorian period the most prolific silver model maker was a German company, Ludwig Nereshiemer & Co of Hanau, who exported models from Germany, made specifically for the English market in sterling silver, to be sold in Berthold Mullers shop in Holborn. It is likely that Muller was the sole British agent for Nereshiemers work. To stop Muller from flooding the market, the Government imposed a large tax onto the importation of silver animal models, making it too expensive for Muller to continue. Nereshiemer, however, responded by creating models with movable wings, or with removable heads, which Muller then imported into the country as drinking vessels, pepper shakers and toys, effectively removing this high level of taxation.
Antique Silver animals Design:
Most silversmiths tried to design their models on as realistic basis as possible. Some notable exceptions are 18th century cow-creamers, which are relatively naive in comparison.
Antique Silver animals Collectors Note:
Silver animal models were made in two basic ways. They are either hollow, made from sheet silver, or cast. In the former case collectors must look at the seams to make sure there are no obvious repairs. In the latter case make sure that there are no repaired breaks. For example many old game bird wing tips have been repaired. As normal, The level of craftsmanship and their aesthetic qualities determine their value. But they must also be undamaged, as discussed above, with good clear hallmarks and crisp detail.