GERMAN SILVER – VALUATIONS, HISTORY & GUIDE

German silver

German silver has a rich tradition and its own unique forms.  Use this guide as your starting point to find out more about your piece of German silver or just to learn more about the forms and fashions prevalent through the 17th and 18th centuries.

We can advise on the value of your silver and provide advice about how to sell it.  Use the contact form at the bottom of the page to get in touch.

German silver in the 17th Century

Following the 30 years war in 1648 there was a period of intense hardship.  There was great rivalry amongst lesser princes which fueled ostentatious displays of silver.  Almost all of plate was partial or fully gilt.  

In the 17th century no real new designs of German silver were developed and towards the end of the century French styles became fashionable.  The main reason for this is the influx of Huguenots from France who were being persecuted follwing the edict of Nantes in 1685.

The skill of the Germans silversmiths was consistently high, and they showed preference towards repouse or chased decoration.  This can be witnessed with the high level of detail, especially on drinking vessels. 

 

German Silver
A double cup, Caspar Beutmüller the Elder, circa 1590.
German Silver
A German silver gilt covered beaker, circ 1470

Types of German silver drinking cups

Throughout the 17th century it was customary to give drinking cups on special occasions.  The main types of cups are as follows:

Riesenpokal – 40” high, only for display

Ananaspokal – pineapple cup

Dopelpokal – double cup, given to women

The sides of German silver tankards are often chased with Biblical or mythological scenes.  

German silversmiths also used mounted cornelian, chalcedony, agate, mother of pearl, ivory, stoneware and faince.  The Masster of this art was Johann Melchior Dinglinger and Ausburg was the centre of this style.

The true mster of this art was Johann Melchior Dinglinger.  The main centre for this type of German silver was Ausburg.

18th century German silver

Friedrick The Great (1713-40) loathed the French but was a great patron of the arts and held a passion for gold and silver snuff boxes.  Berlin was one of the main centres of production for these gold and silver snuffboxes.

The best snuffboxes were arguably made by Christian Neuber and Heinrich Taddel.  One of the main reasons for the proliferation of gold snuff boxes was that the goldsmiths were almost unrivaled in the production of luxury gifts.  This changed in 1710 following the opening of the Meissen porcelain works.

The styles in 18th century German Silver

18th-century  German silver is often decorated with foliage and scroll work, stylised busts etc, and was mostly done by chasing or flat decoration; engraving only used for arms.

Rococo decoration was a popular style of German silver until 1780 – often in fluid extravagance.  It is unusual too that there are almost no Neo Classical works, oten examples of an international style rather than an adaption and use of the style.  There was a notable decline in quality in the last few decades of the 18th century.

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German Silver
Attributed to Johann Christian Neuber (German, 1736–1808), a gold, carnelian, agate snuff box

German silver

German silver has a rich tradition and its own unique forms.  Use this guide as your starting point to find out more about your piece of German silver or just to learn more about the forms and fashions prevalent through the 17th and 18th centuries.

We can advise on the value of your silver and provide advice about how to sell it.  Use the contact form at the bottom of the page to get in touch.

German silver in the 17th Century

Following the 30 years war in 1648 there was a period of intense hardship.  There was great rivalry amongst lesser princes which fueled ostentatious displays of silver.  Almost all of plate was partial or fully gilt.  

In the 17th century no real new designs of German silver were developed and towards the end of the century French styles became fashionable.  The main reason for this is the influx of Huguenots from France who were being persecuted follwing the edict of Nantes in 1685.

The skill of the Germans silversmiths was consistently high, and they showed preference towards repouse or chased decoration.  This can be witnessed with the high level of detail, especially on drinking vessels. 

German Silver
A double cup, Caspar Beutmüller the Elder, circa 1590.

Types of German silver drinking cups

Throughout the 17th century it was customary to give drinking cups on special occasions.  The main types of cups are as follows:

Riesenpokal – 40” high, only for display

Ananaspokal – pineapple cup

Dopelpokal – double cup, given to women

The sides of German silver tankards are often chased with Biblical or mythological scenes.  

German silversmiths also used mounted cornelian, chalcedony, agate, mother of pearl, ivory, stoneware and faince.  ster of this art was Johann Melchior Dinglinger and Ausburg was the centre of this style.

The true mster of this art was Johann Melchior Dinglinger.  The main centre for this type of German silver was Ausburg.

18th century German silver

Friedrick The Great (1713-40) loathed the French but was a great patron of the arts and held a passion for gold and silver snuff boxes.  Berlin was one of the main centres of production for these gold and silver snuffboxes.

The best snuffboxes were arguably made by Christian Neuber and Heinrich Taddel.  One of the main reasons for the proliferation of gold snuff boxes was that the goldsmiths were almost unrivaled in the production of luxury gifts.  This changed in 1710 following the opening of the Meissen porcelain works.

The styles in 18th century German Silver

18th-century  German silver is often decorated with foliage and scroll work, stylised busts etc, and was mostly done by chasing or flat decoration; engraving only used for arms.

Rococo decoration was a popular style of German silver until 1780 – often in fluid extravagance.  It is unusual too that there are almost no Neo Classical works, oten examples of an international style rather than an adaption and use of the style.  There was a notable decline in quality in the last few decades of the 18th century.

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German Silver
Attributed to Johann Christian Neuber (German, 1736–1808), a gold, carnelian, agate snuff box

FREE GERMAN SILVER VALUATIONS

Valuations

Are you looking for a valuation of your German silver?  If so then we can help. 

Email details about your item to [email protected] or call us on 01477 410893

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Alternatively, use the form to send us information about your item and we will reply with a valuation.

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We can help you sell your German silver and get the best possible price for it.  We sell both through auction and private sales, using the route which will earn you the most money.

For more information please look at our Services page.

Why use Mark Littler

  • Access to every auction house in the UK.
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  • Our private sales earn you on average 35% more than by selling at auction.
  • We handle everything on your behalf from valuation to sale.
  • We’re independent, so offer unbiased and impartial advice.

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Are you looking for a valuation? If so then we can help.

Email details about your item to [email protected] or call us on 01477 410893

You can also click to send us a text

Alternatively, use the form to send us information about your item and we will reply with a valuation.

Online Valuation Form