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Old Silver For Modern Collectors
Every year more and more pieces are being lent or given to museums and occasionally a fine private collection is sold at auction. There is still a considerable amount of good silver that may eventually come on the market and from this, new collections will be started. It has been said that each collection is broken up once every generation. If this is true, there is hope for those who wish to own at least a few pieces of fine silver.
Several years ago such an opportunity came in Cincinnati, Ohio, when at the death of W.T.H. Howe, Esq., his fine collection, including some excellent examples by Paul Revere, was sold at auction and many choice pieces became available to private collectors. This one event shows that if you learn about silver and watch the sales in reliable auction galleries, it is possible even today to acquire some really good American pieces.
Fortunately for collectors, everyone does not treasure heirlooms, and there are always those whose enthusiasms wane and who want something new. When a collection of silver is cleared out to make way for a different hobby, the new collector has a chance. Large museums also sometimes sell at auction pieces of which they have duplicates. Although the museum involved is seldom named, the catalogue usually states the original source from which the museum obtained the pieces. Whatever his source of supply, it is important for a collector; new or experienced, to learn as much as possible about the subject of silver in general, and then about the specific piece he contemplates adding to his collection.