Silver Gilt: An article of silver where the surface has been completely covered with a thin layer of gold.
Sheffield Plate: Method invented by Thomas Boulsover of Sheffield, England, c. 1743 of fusing a thin layer of
sterling silver onto a sheet of copper by heating and rolling the two together.
Seal Top Spoon: A spoon with a decorative finial at the end of the handle with a flat
disc at the end in the form of a seal.
Saw Piercing: A form of decoration produced by cutting away parts of the metal by hand with the use of a thin
steel blade with fine teeth.th.
Satin Finish: A matte surface finish produced by the use of acid or brushing. Also called frosted finish.
Sand Polishing: A method of polishing silver using pumice as an abrasive on a felt or leather spinning wheel. Used
as an initial polishing phase to remove marks, creases, and porous openings.
Salt Cellar / Salt Dip / Open Salt: A small dish for holding salt which is served with the use of
an individual salt spoon and refilled with the master salt spoon. Sterling salt cellars usually
have a glass liner or have a layer of gold on the interior to prevent damage from the corrosive
salt. Having salt cellars on the table used to be the norm. The salt shaker wasn't introduced
until the 1860's, but it took a while for shakers to catch on because of salt's tendency to clump
and harden, especially in humid weather. In 1910, Morton Salt added clump-preventing
magnesium carbonate to salt and gave us it's "When It Rains, It Pours" free flowing salt. Soon thereafter, salt
shakers became the favored dispenser, and salt cellars quickly went by the wayside.
Salesman's Sample: A miniature copy of a full sized item carried by traveling salesmen to advertise their wares
Silverplate / Silver Plate (II): Articles made of a non-precious metal on which is deposited pure silver by the
electroplating process in order to resemble genuine silver.
Silver Inlaid: A term applied to silverplate flatware by the Holmes and Edwards Company where the points of
flatware that would rest on a table had an extra layer of silver applied to it so that wear would be less visible.
Same as Sterling Inlaid.
Slip Top Spoon: A very early type of spoon consisting of a hexagonal handle with the end cut off at
an angle. Considered an early to mid-17th century spoon, examples exist dating back to 1500.
Sinking: The first stage of making a piece of silver by hand. A flat sheet of silver is placed over a depression and
hammered into a bowl shape.
Silverware: Flatware, hollowware, and decorative objects made of silver. In America, the term “silverware”
means flatware made of any material.
Sad Ware: Flat table articles, such as plates and trenchers, made of pewter.
Sauce Tureen: A smaller version of a full sized tureen used to hold and serve sauces and gravies.
Service: The number of place settings within a set or the number of different pieces within a pattern.
Shoulder: The raised rim on a plate or platter.
Sauce Label / Sauce Ticket: A smaller version of a bottle ticket hung on the neck of a cruet or
condiment bottle to label the bottle's contents.
Shell-Back Spoon: A type of fancy-back spoon with a shell motif on the back of the bowl.
Silver Overlay: A sheet of sterling silver which has been formed, decorated, and shaped over
objects made of other materials, usually glass or porcelain. The silver will usually carry a sterling
mark along with a maker's mark. The terms silver deposit and silver overlay were at one time
interchangeable. Today, it is generally considered that deposit refers to the electroplating process
and overlay refers to the shaped and applied process.
Sealing Wax Holder: A device that is used to hold a stick of sealing wax.
Sewing Awl / Stitching Awl: A device used in sewing heavy materials. The piece
is threaded, and a sharp point allows the awl to pierce the material. The thread
is then drawn through the material to create a locking stitch.
Silver Deposit: Electroplated silver on glass or porcelain. The process was invented by
Oscar Pierre Erard of Birmingham, England, in 1889. See also Silver Overlay.
Shagreen: The knobby skin of a shark or ray used as fancy leather. The rough
surface knobs are often ground down, leaving a flat, granular surface.
Silent Butler: A container, usually with a hinged lid and wooden handle, into which crumbs
from the table are deposited.
Salver: A tray, often footed, on which any type of item is presented.
Salt: The general term for any container used for table salt.
Silversmith: A craftsman who fashions articles of silver.
Silver Plate (I): The original term for goods made of silver. With the advent of the silverplating process, this
designation is rarely used today.