EDGES AND BORDERS :
When serve-ware made of any metal is of a substantial gauge —so that the cut edge is not sharp, the edge may be simply polished. Edges are also rolled under or finished with an applied border.
Edges of hollow metal shapes are rolled under to become stronger. Designs can be die-stamped into the rolled edges. This picture shows the reverse edge of a bowl: the rolled border is stamped with a gadroon design to replicate rope.
Gadroon is traced to Dutch seafaring traders who decorated modest
possessions with rope—a commodity vital to life on a boat. As
traders acquired wealth, they chose ‘rope-like’ ornamentation on
metal wares and wood furniture.
‘Applied’ decorations of cast metal also add strength to edges of metal shapes. Tailored and ornamental designs are individually cast and polished before being soldered to edges of basic shapes.
Here we see Baroque border castings (made of Britannia metal–an excellent, non-porous white metal alloy) soldered to brass bowls prior to being silver-plated.
SPOUTS, FINIALS, HANDLES and FEET:
Molten sterling silver is cast in molds to become spouts, finials, handles and feet of sterling hollow shapes. They are added to designated metal shapes by soldering. All added component parts must appear seamless.
Castings for silver plated wares should be made of a high quality, non-porous molten silver alloy that will hold a plating of silver exceptionally well. Mold marks on all cast parts are ground away and each casting is hand polished. Whether ornate or tailored, castings of feet, spouts and handles, etc. are soldered to their respective coffee and tea pots, bowls, pitchers, trays before being silver-plated.
Beware of manufacturers who use cheap alloys for
their castings—especially those who use slush metal
(melted scrap metal) so porous, silver plating rubs off.
Spouts, Finials, Handles and Feet on serving wares made of brass, copper, pewter, stainless steel, tin and polished aluminum —must be carefully finished, polished and soldered to their respective hollow shapes. Examine them carefully: they should appear seamless — as if they were made in one piece.
Pat Breen: EYEWITNESS TO QUALITY