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Reproductions In Silver
Today most silver is made by machine but much of it copies the good designs of the past. There are even a few craftsmen who fashion it by hand, but labor costs are so high that then the final price is too great for general distribution. But what about reproductions of old silver? Certainly there is good reproduction silver on the market. The best is faithfully copied from known old pieces by important early makers. Some reproductions bear the name of the modern maker and the name of the silversmith from whose work the design is copied. There are some excellent copies of bowls, pitchers, and teapots from those made by Paul Revere, and there are also exact copies of the work of other early silversmiths including pieces by John Coney. Next to having really old pieces made by early craftsmen, an honest copy in high quality silver is desirable.
Unfortunately many large factories which can well afford to educate taste are turning out patterns, usually for table settings, which are overornamented or just pretty. Extensive catalogues are issued picturing the designs, but among them are some simple pleasing patterns which have stood the test of time. Some of the designs used in the late eighteenth a d early nineteenth centuries have kept their popularity through the years and may be found in the better shops today. The simple thread pattern, the shell design, and the unornamented designs of the late eighteenth century can be bought today. Few fancy patterns stay long in vogue and in a few years it is often impossible to add pieces to a set; simple patterns, often just good copies of old silver, seem to last through the years.
Today some dealers in antique silver have added fine copies of old pieces to their stock. These copies are marked as such and are for those who prefer old silver but do not want to pay the price for it. These copies make excellent gifts for weddings and christenings, and their quality is so high that they become heirlooms of the future. When you buy reproductions of antique silver, be sure you are getting exact copies and not adaptations, which usually have little to recommend them, being neither very good nor very bad. Study pieces of worth while antique silver before you buy a reproduction. Then you will know what a sincere copy should look like.