Salvers & Trays – Antique Beauties

The difference between salvers and trays is that trays have handles while salvers do not. Both were used as presentation pieces and for practical purposes, and good ones are always popular with collectors.

Many salvers survive from c.1700 onwards, but trays were not made until the end of the 18th century.

Those decorated with elaborate borders will probably cost more than simpler ones.

Salvers and trays often had the armorials of their owner engraved in the centre – if the crest belongs to a famous family this can increase value – as well as providing an interesting insight into the previous owner of your tray.

Borders used to decorate tray and salvers (and other types of silver) can help you to date them, although many designs were repeated in the 19th century. So you can see following borders of tray and salvers:

– gardroon border (1690-1700)

– scrolled border (1730s-40s)

– thread border (1790s)

– shell & scroll border (c.1850-c.1895)


Early William III Silver Footed Salver

(A fine antique Britannia standard silver salver with beautifully engraved centre armorial, gadroon border, London 1699.)


Large Antique Irish Silver Salver

(A large and elegant antique Dublin silver tray of classical plain design standing on 3 shaped splay feet. The centre has a border of garlands of flowers and leaves and there is a fine engraved armorial to the middle; thread border, Dublin 1791.)


Georgian Silver Salver

(A pretty antique sterling silver waiter with hand engraved centre and having a flower and scroll decorated border; London 1802.)

Victorian Sterling Silver Tray as128a839b

A Fine and Impressive Antique Victorian English Sterling Silver Two-Handled Tea Tray

(This fine Victorian sterling silver tea tray has an oval scalloped form with a plain swept border. The surface of the tray is embellished with bright cut engraved Arabesque decoration around a shaped vacant cartouche. London 1860.)

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