Castle Top Silver: History, Valuations & How to Sell

Have you ever wondered what your Castle Top Silver is worth?

Find out more about the history of Castle Top Silver and get in touch using the form below for a free valuation.

How we can help you sell your Castle Top Silver

Castle top silver is highly collectable. If you have a piece of Castle Top Silver and would like to find out more your item please read our guide to their history at the end of this page. You will also find a guide for the 6 things to look for in your Castle Top Silver and a guide to the common hallmarks used.

Please use the enquiry form on this page to send us details and pictures of your Castle Top Silver for a free valuation and information on the best way to sell you silver.

The Market for Silver in 2020 

Silver continues to be highly collectable in 2020. More than ever condition is key and collectors discriminate against even the smallest imperfection.

The world record for a card case was broken three times in one sale in 2016, with the record still standing at almost £10,000.  Although this is the exception not the rule, castle top card cases often sell for over £1,000 at auction.

The dual characteristics of being instantly appealing to a wide audience and having an academic side means that castle top silver is now sought both by collectors and private buyers as a one off purchase.

Free Valuations on Your
Castle Top Silver

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Images of Your Item
Maximum upload size: 10.49MB
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What to look for in your Castle Top Silver

castle top silver subjects

Condition

The condition of the decoration on castle top silver is very important. Look for signs of an over zealous cleaner as a previous owner; if it has been over-polished there will be no fine details left. A split around the seam of the case is normally repairable.

castle top silver hallmarks

Hallmarks

The hallmarks on your card case are likely to be on the inner rim of the base. As the marks are placed in direct contact with the closing lid they can sometimes become obscured. As long as the date and maker are readable it is considered ok.

castle top silver sell

Card Cases

The record for a castle top card case stands at £9,800 which was for a very rare example of The Post Office, Dublin.  More typically they sell for £300-500, with the value being mostly formed from how unfrequnetly the building or castle occurs on a case.

what is castle top silver

Vinaigrettes

Although castle top vinaigrettes have a higher average selling price than card cases, often around £500-1000 depending on the subject, the record is only £6,600. Look out for vinaigrettes in their original boxes as they are often in perfect condition.

castle top silver valuations

Embossed decoration

Most castle top silver is made by die stamping (pushing the metal out from behind using a stamp). The greater the decoration stands clear from the front of the cover, the harder it was to make, and highly detailed cases are very sought after by collectors.

castle top silver valuations

Engraved Decoration

Castle Top Silver can also have engraved decoration. A specialist engraver would often be employed just to add the decoration to the front of the card case or vinaigrette. As the decoration is shallow it can be prone to rubbing and loosing details.

The main Castle Top Silver Hallmarks

Castle Top Silver

Alfred Taylor

Birmingham – registered mark 1851, active circa 1853-1870.  Currently it is an Alfred Taylor card case which holds the world record price for an item of castle top silver.

Castle Top Silver

George Unite

Birmingham – registered first mark in 1832, active circa 1832-1901.  The record for a George Unite castle top card case is £9,200.

Castle Top Silver

Nathaniel Mills

Birmingham – active 1826-1857.  The record for a Nathaniel Mills castle top card case is £9,200.

Receive a free valuation for your Castle Top Silver

Basic Contact Form
Images of Your Item
Maximum upload size: 10.49MB
Are You a Robot?
I agree to the privacy policy*

Selling your Castle Top Silver with Mark Littler Ltd.

Sell A Cask of Whisky (4)

Send us details about your Castle Top Silver directly via email or use the form below.

Sell A Cask of Whisky (2)

We contact our international network of customers for the best offers.

Sell A Cask of Whisky (3)

If you decide to proceed with an offer we issue you with a contract.

Mark Littler LTD can help collect and delivery your items with our fully insured service.

Send us your Castle Top Silver. We have a fully insured courier service available.

Sell A Cask of Whisky (1)

We complete the sale with the buyer and send your funds via BACS.

Castle Top Silver

Auction or Private Sale?

If you are deciding on how to sell your Castle Top silver we can have a no obligation chat on the best options for you. We can either make a personal introduction to the best saleroom based on your location and item free of charge. Or we can look into collecting you some no obligation offers for a private sale, which could save you considerably in commission.

In a nutshell here are the main pros and cons of each option:

  • Auctions can provide an increased market exposure (when you choose the right saleroom) but their gross fees can reach as much as 50%, and the payout times can be drawn out.
  • Private sales leave you in control of the price, and can be completed quickly but there is no chance of ‘buyer’s fever’ driving up prices.

Mark Littler Ltd. are one of the only independent advisers in the antique industry. We offer trusted, independent advice to help you sell your silver for the highest possible price..

Castle Top Silver

A History of Castle Top Silver Boxes

In the mid-19th century, small silver boxes depicting images of castles, manor houses, or churches were used to carry cards, snuff, and vinaigrettes. These silver cases were fashioned by the Birmingham ‘toy’ makers. They were engraved or die-stamped with British landmarks. Castle top silver cases were likely marketed as souvenirs for honeymooners and day-trippers in Victorian England and are highly collectable.

The custom of leaving visiting cards lasted throughout the 19th century, and the need for covering up offensive odours outdoors (which vinaigrettes were used for) certainly persisted through that period. Yet castle top silver was only at the height of fashion between the period of circa 1830 to 1860. This rather brief period of popularity limits the cases availability and in turn makes these Castle Top Silver cases highly collectable today.

Castle top card cases

Calling cards were left behind at a residence if the required person wasn’t available. They served as both an introductory letter and a symbol of manners and social standing. Cards for unmarried men were usually smaller than the cards married men carried. The most desirable card cases in the mid-19th century featured scenes of British landmarks.

Castle top vinaigrettes

Vinaigrettes held sponges dipped in strong fragrance to help mask unpleasant street smells. Wealthy citizens could afford the fragrances needed to mask the strong scents. The beautiful castle top silver cases helped a disagreeable situation feel a bit more tolerable.

Castle top silver in the 21st century

Castle top silver is now valued for the variety of depictions of British landmarks. The rarer the building, the higher the demand in today’s market. You can find engravings of Windsor Castle, Westminster Abbey, the Tower of London, Melrose Abbey, and Oxford College, just to name a few.

Receive a free valuation for your Castle Top Silver

Basic Contact Form
Images of Your Item
Maximum upload size: 10.49MB
Are You a Robot?
I agree to the privacy policy*

Have you ever wondered what your Castle Top Silver is worth?

Find out more about the history of Castle Top Silver and get in touch using the form below for a free valuation.

How we can help you sell your Castle Top Silver

Castle top silver is highly collectable. If you have a piece of Castle Top Silver and would like to find out more your item please read our guide to their history at the end of this page. You will also find a guide for the 6 things to look for in your Castle Top Silver and a guide to the common hallmarks used.

Please use the enquiry form on this page to send us details and pictures of your Castle Top Silver for a free valuation and information on the best way to sell you silver.

The Market for Silver in 2020 

Silver continues to be highly collectable in 2020. More than ever condition is key and collectors discriminate against even the smallest imperfection.

The world record for a card case was broken three times in one sale in 2016, with the record still standing at almost £10,000.  Although this is the exception not the rule, castle top card cases often sell for over £1,000 at auction.

The dual characteristics of being instantly appealing to a wide audience and having an academic side means that castle top silver is now sought both by collectors and private buyers as a one off purchase.

Free Valuations on Your
Castle Top Silver

Basic Contact MINI
Images of Your Item
Maximum upload size: 10.49MB
Are You a Robot?
I agree to the privacy policy*

What to look for in your Castle Top Silver

castle top silver subjects

Condition

The condition of the decoration on castle top silver is very important. Look for signs of an over zealous cleaner as a previous owner; if it has been over-polished there will be no fine details left. A split around the seam of the case is normally repairable.

castle top silver hallmarks

Hallmarks

The hallmarks on your card case are likely to be on the inner rim of the base. As the marks are placed in direct contact with the closing lid they can sometimes become obscured. As long as the date and maker are readable it is considered ok.

castle top silver sell

Card Cases

The record for a castle top card case stands at £9,800 which was for a very rare example of The Post Office, Dublin.  More typically they sell for £300-500, with the value being mostly formed from how unfrequnetly the building or castle occurs on a case.

what is castle top silver

Vinaigrettes

Although castle top vinaigrettes have a higher average selling price than card cases, often around £500-1000 depending on the subject, the record is only £6,600. Look out for vinaigrettes in their original boxes as they are often in perfect condition.

castle top silver valuations

Embossed decoration

Most castle top silver is made by die stamping (pushing the metal out from behind using a stamp). The greater the decoration stands clear from the front of the cover, the harder it was to make, and highly detailed cases are very sought after by collectors.

castle top silver valuations

Engraved Decoration

Castle Top Silver can also have engraved decoration. A specialist engraver would often be employed just to add the decoration to the front of the card case or vinaigrette. As the decoration is shallow it can be prone to rubbing and loosing details.

The main Castle Top Silver Hallmarks

Castle Top Silver

Alfred Taylor

Birmingham – registered mark 1851, active circa 1853-1870.  Currently it is an Alfred Taylor card case which holds the world record price for an item of castle top silver.

Castle Top Silver

George Unite

Birmingham – registered first mark in 1832, active circa 1832-1901.  The record for a George Unite castle top card case is £9,200.

Castle Top Silver

Nathaniel Mills

Birmingham – active 1826-1857.  The record for a Nathaniel Mills castle top card case is £9,200.

Receive a free valuation for your Castle Top Silver

Basic Contact Form
Images of Your Item
Maximum upload size: 10.49MB
Are You a Robot?
I agree to the privacy policy*

Selling your Castle Top Silver with Mark Littler Ltd.

Sell A Cask of Whisky (4)

Send us details about your Castle Top Silver directly via email or use the form below.

Sell A Cask of Whisky (2)

We contact our international network of customers for the best offers.

Sell A Cask of Whisky (3)

If you decide to proceed with an offer we issue you with a contract.

Mark Littler LTD can help collect and delivery your items with our fully insured service.

Send us your Castle Top Silver. We have a fully insured courier service available.

Sell A Cask of Whisky (1)

We complete the sale with the buyer and send your funds via BACS.

Castle Top Silver

Auction or Private Sale?

If you are deciding on how to sell your Castle Top silver we can have a no obligation chat on the best options for you. We can either make a personal introduction to the best saleroom based on your location and item free of charge. Or we can look into collecting you some no obligation offers for a private sale, which could save you considerably in commission.

In a nutshell here are the main pros and cons of each option:

  • Auctions can provide an increased market exposure (when you choose the right saleroom) but their gross fees can reach as much as 50%, and the payout times can be drawn out.
  • Private sales leave you in control of the price, and can be completed quickly but there is no chance of ‘buyer’s fever’ driving up prices.

Mark Littler Ltd. are one of the only independent advisers in the antique industry. We offer trusted, independent advice to help you sell your silver for the highest possible price..

Castle Top Silver

A History of Castle Top Silver Boxes

In the mid-19th century, small silver boxes depicting images of castles, manor houses, or churches were used to carry cards, snuff, and vinaigrettes. These silver cases were fashioned by the Birmingham ‘toy’ makers. They were engraved or die-stamped with British landmarks. Castle top silver cases were likely marketed as souvenirs for honeymooners and day-trippers in Victorian England and are highly collectable.

The custom of leaving visiting cards lasted throughout the 19th century, and the need for covering up offensive odours outdoors (which vinaigrettes were used for) certainly persisted through that period. Yet castle top silver was only at the height of fashion between the period of circa 1830 to 1860. This rather brief period of popularity limits the cases availability and in turn makes these Castle Top Silver cases highly collectable today.

Castle top card cases

Calling cards were left behind at a residence if the required person wasn’t available. They served as both an introductory letter and a symbol of manners and social standing. Cards for unmarried men were usually smaller than the cards married men carried. The most desirable card cases in the mid-19th century featured scenes of British landmarks.

Castle top vinaigrettes

Vinaigrettes held sponges dipped in strong fragrance to help mask unpleasant street smells. Wealthy citizens could afford the fragrances needed to mask the strong scents. The beautiful castle top silver cases helped a disagreeable situation feel a bit more tolerable.

Castle top silver in the 21st century

Castle top silver is now valued for the variety of depictions of British landmarks. The rarer the building, the higher the demand in today’s market. You can find engravings of Windsor Castle, Westminster Abbey, the Tower of London, Melrose Abbey, and Oxford College, just to name a few.

Receive a free valuation for your Castle Top Silver

Basic Contact Form
Images of Your Item
Maximum upload size: 10.49MB
Are You a Robot?
I agree to the privacy policy*