The value of antique silver boxes will be influenced by a number of factors. Just as you would when buying various silver pieces, especially antique ones, you need to have it professionally appraised to ensure accurate valuation.
You first need to evaluate the type of silver used for making the antique box that you own. This is the first and most important factor that appraisers look into when estimating the value of your silver box.
The provenance could also be factor, if you can prove its history and where it comes from.
Next to the type of silver it is made from, any hallmark present in the silver box is also used as a factor for valuation. The hallmark will verify its manufacturer, origin, and history. All of these factors combine to showcasing the rarity of an antique piece and could significantly boost its market value too. A few kinks or faults should be no cause for worry. This is to be expected of any antique piece. As long as you can guarantee the authenticity of the silver box, you will get a good valuation for it.
Antique silver boxes are collected for a variety of reasons.
Some collect them for storage purposes, either for storing jewelry or other valuable items. Meanwhile, others purchase them for decorative purposes as they add a vintage element to interior décor.
Whatever your purpose is for acquiring or owning silver box is, you need to know its value in the market should you desire to cash in on this antique heirloom.
Silver boxes serve many purposes depending on how the owner would like to utilize it. Antique silver boxes are often elaborately decorated. The fact that they are made of silver also add to the aesthetic value. The combination of quality workmanship and quality material combine to making it a functional piece that every homeowner can make use of.
These silver boxes are often used for storage purposes – to contain valuable items such as jewelry and other keepsakes. For some owners, they are used for decorative purposes. You can place them in your writing desk, bedside table, or your living room as an accent piece. It can add a touch of class to your home’s interior design. In addition, they also make great gifts due to their value in the market.
Most silver (snuff) boxes comes from United States, England and Russia. Where boxes from United states and England are normally marked, this is not true for Russian boxes.
If it is of russian origin there is a good chance it it either one of the two most known types: Niello box or lacquer box. Niello boxes tend to be a bit cheaper than lacquer, but marking and engraving can make a huge difference.
When talking about antique silver boxes, they come in various forms, styles, and purposes. It is therefore important to differentiate because they also vary in terms of how they are appraised in the market. Silver boxes can be any of the following:
Taking good care of your antique silver boxes is crucial if you want to preserve its value. Any silver item is prone to suffering from tarnish. To prevent this from happening to your antique silver boxes, you must store it somewhere that it is not exposed to airflow and humidity. For example, you must place it inside a glass case. It is also recommended that you wear gloves when handling the silver box.
When you want to remove dust or other imperfections, simply wash it with soap and water. Do not use any cleaning agent such as oil or chemical polish as it can create tarnish (not to mention diminish the authenticity of the silver box). When you are done washing it with gentle soap and water, use a cotton cloth to dry your antique silver box. You will notice that its shine and luster has been restored significantly. Be extra careful in choosing the cloth you use. Wipe it using only soft cotton to remove dust and tarnish without damage.
The first factor that could heavily influence the appraisal of antique silver boxes is the type of silver used for making them. Majority of the silver boxes that are available in the market are made with sterling silver. Meanwhile, there are also those that use pure silver. The latter is more expensive than sterling silver. If you own a pure silver box, you can get a higher appraisal for it.
On the other hand, silver plated boxes are the least expensive because it only consists of a layer of silver covering instead of being actually made of silver. With that said, silver plate boxes have no real value.
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Lindsey Bourret is the Managing Director at Mearto. In addition to overseeing the daily operations of the business, she also enjoys sharing her extensive knowledge of the fine art and antiques market with our customers through our website, blog, e-newsletter and social media accounts.