Silver Tea Set

While on the topic of silver teapots, I thought I should also write about the silver tea set.

First of all, what do silver tea sets consist of?  As far as a Western tradition, a silver plated tea set consists of a whole set of silver dishes that you would use at an afternoon tea setting. In other words, an English tea set would include a silver tea pot, a tea cup with saucer, a sugar bowl, and a small cream jug.  If it is a proper tea set, it should also include a silver tray upon which everything sits. Some Sterling silver tea sets also include silver teaspoons and sugar tongs, and some include a small tea chest that you can use for storing your tea.

Of course the original idea behind the silver tea set has its roots set in ancient China. Naturally, the tea sets of those days were vastly different than the tea sets of today. In ancient China, a tea set consisted of a tea pot, a tray upon which the pot and cups sat–which also trapped and ran off waste water into a bowl or small bucket hidden under the table–cups to use to drink the green or wulong tea, and other accessories used in the tea pouring process.

One of the main problems faced with the solid silver tea set is the difficulty many have in caring for silver. It tarnishes very easily, and unfortunately it does need to be taken care of on a regular basis. Especially if your silver set has become somewhat of a center piece, it is essential that you take good care of it. Fortunately, tarnish can be easily removed. If you find that your set is beginning to tarnish, simply buy a silver polish, which is available in either a liquid or a paste.  Applying this to your silver set will remove all of the tarnish and have your tea set silver looking brand new.

You may recall hearing of the maids in British households being assigned to “shine the silver” on a regular basis. There is some truth in this too. If you are able to shine your silver tea set on a regular basis with a soft rag it will definitely slow down the onset of tarnish and keep it looking bright. Also, keeping your tea set in an air-tight location will also slow down the appearance of tarnish. This is especially important if you own an antique silver tea set or an antique silver chest or even simply an antique teapot.

How To Shine Your Silver Tea Set or your Silverplate Tea Set

Should your set become tarnished, here is how to alleviate the problem. First of all, of course, you need to locate a suitable silver polish. You can often find this at your local grocery store, or at your local handyman store.

  • Apply the polish to the silverware with a soft, damp cloth.
  • Spread it over any tarnished areas
  • Once the polish is applied, dampen your cloth again and rub in the polish, applying a slight pressure.
  • Once the piece is polished, rinse it off under warm running water.
  • Finally, dry each piece off with a soft cloth.

If all of the tarnish is not removed with one application of silver polish, simply repeat the procedure again until all tarnish is totally removed.

Note: Do not use abrasives when shining your silverware. That will only scratch and ruin it. Abrasives can be either chemical or mechanical.  Be careful not to drop your silverware, it will dent.

If you would like to purchase a silver tea set, you probably want to first of all know the silver tea set value.  This depends on quite a few things, with one of the main criteria being whether it is a solid Sterling silver tea set, or just a silver plated tea set. It also depends on the type of tea set. An antique tea set and antique silver teapots will cost much more than a modern day children’s silver tea set but perhaps not as much as an antique silver chest or antique tea chest. Good places to look for tea sets include Macy’s,  Reed and Barton, Oneida and  Ross Simons.

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