How to Buy an Antique Solid Silver Goblet on eBay

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How to Buy an Antique Solid Silver Goblet on eBay

From a distance, an antique solid silver goblet can be mistaken for a simple wine cup, yet their long history and ornate beauty make it a commonly sought after item for display cases and ceremonial occasions. While it may be the wine glass that is in common use today, the goblet (sometimes referred to as a 'chalice') brings collectors and enthusiasts a piece of the past. It is important for potential purchasers to become familiar with the various characteristics and features that make these items so unique. Gaining a deeper understanding of the history of the goblet, the different types, the unique features and the steps to caring for these pieces will help make purchasing an antique solid silver goblet on eBay an easier process.

History of Antique Solid Silver Goblets

It is believed that Scandinavians made some of the first drinking vessels out of silver as far back as the sixteenth century. The goblet is thought to date back to the 1300s, but many of these early items were ceramic or made from materials other than silver. Early goblets were predominantly put to use in religious ceremony, and were more commonly referred to in this context as a 'chalice'. Sacramental wine used in religious practices, including those of Roman Catholicism, Anglicanism and Lutheranism, was consumed from these cups and brought the pieces great value. Over the centuries, many of these goblets came to hold important meaning for specific families, and were passed down over generations. The solid silver goblets of the last few centuries were reserved for a variety of special occasions including weddings, and were even painstakingly patterned by silversmiths.

Discover Antique Solid Silver Goblets on eBay

Solid silver goblets can provide a unique touch to a special occasion, and are still in relatively common use at official ceremonies such as weddings. Goblets tend to have less overall function in modern society and are more often bought for antique silver collections. Term 'antique' is generally applied to items that are at least one hundred years old. Some professionals consider 1930 as a measuring year, but it is important to note that simply being classified as ‘old’ does not give a silver goblet the title of antique.

It is also important for potential purchasers to understand what makes up solid silver,, or sterling silver as it is often referred to. As pure silver is too soft to work with, it is generally mixed with small amounts of other metals, such as copper, in order to make it more malleable. Solid silver items are those consider to be at least 92.5 percent silver. Britannia silver items are considered to be made of 95.8 percent pure silver. Antique solid silver goblets can be found in both solid silver and Britannia silver designs.

Materials and Parts Used in Antique Solid Silver Goblets

Goblets are relatively simple items in their general design. Below are listed the components and materials found in antique solid silver goblets that may be found on eBay.




The section of the vessel that holds liquid.


Thin, straight section beneath the bowl that leads to the foot.


The base of the goblet - the width of the base and the straight stem support the bowl’s contents when placed on a table.



Sterling Silver

Contains 92.5 percent pure silver and 7.5 percent alloyed metal such as copper.

Britannia Silver

Contains 95.8 percent pure silver and 4.2 percent alloyed metal such as copper. Britannia silver is less common, but more valuable than sterling silver.

Silver Flashing

Valuable coat of 99.9 percent pure silver on the outside of the goblet that is typically layered over a less valuable metal.


Can be found used in the gilded interiors of some bowls.

Types of Antique Solid Silver Goblets

While the general design and purpose of the goblet is simply to carry liquid, there are a variety of ways in which a seller may describe an antique piece on eBay. A common method of discerning antique goblets is to use the name of the ruling king or queen of the era in which it was made, such as a ‘George III’ or a ‘Victorian’ goblet. The seller may also describe the designs of the goblet, which can involve the overall shape, such as a fluted bowl, or the patterns that it has, such as a beaded border around the foot. While goblets do vary in appearance, an antique solid silver goblet is a specific search criterion, and a buyer could consider the features mentioned below in this guide when browsing for a specific ‘type.’

Factors to Consider When Buying Antique Solid Silver Goblet

Prospective buyer may wish to consider a few further factors when deciding to purchase an antique solid silver goblet on eBay.

  • Pewter – On rare occasions, old goblets contain pewter that can be made of lead. This can potentially be hazardous to health. It is best to be sure exactly what a drinking vessel is made from.
  • Silver Plate – When looking for any solid silver item, it is important for a buyer not to confuse it with silver-plating. This is simply a thin coating of solid silver on the outside of a less valuable metal, such as bronze.
  • Size – Though the function remains the same, goblets can vary slightly in size.

Typical Features of Antique Solid Silver Goblets

1.  Chased Designs

While many solid silver goblets have a smooth and minimal exterior, they can also be found to have repoussé, or ‘chasing,’ which provides the exterior of the flask with an outward texture through delicately hammering it from behind. These designs can be simple floral patterns, or more elaborately depicted scenes.

2.  Engraving

As well as having chased designs, antique solid silver goblets are often engraved. Some may be monogrammed with the initials of a previous owner, while others may have decorative reed designs or floral patterns. The quality of the silver (such as the number 925 for sterling) and the mark of the manufacturer can also often be found engraved on the goblet.

3.  Bowl Design

A goblet’s shape can vary from a traditional bowl to a fluted bowl, in which the top is wider than the bottom. Some bowls also have decorative gilding on the inside, which often increases their value.

4.  Foot Features

The feet of antique solid silver goblets can also have decorations, such as beaded borders or a tiered design. Engravings on the foot can also continue up the stem of the goblet to the bowl.

How to Care for Antique Solid Silver Goblets

In order to keep an antique solid silver goblet for years to come, there are some simple maintenance guidelines that an owner may wish to consider including:

  • As with any solid silver, attempt to keep it in a dry, airtight container when it is not in use. This helps to limit tarnishing and corrosion of the silver.
  • Use fine cotton swabs to remove dirt from any textured silver that may cause build-up and aid corrosion.
  • It is best to wash solid silver goblets by hand in weak, soapy water. Do not put them in dishwashers as the harsh drying cycle can damage the finish.
  • Ensure that goblets are thoroughly rinsed and dried with a soft cloth after use. Occasional use of silver polish can help to keep it shining and free from tarnish.

Antique Solid Silver Goblet Manufacturers

The following list outlines some of the manufacturers of antique solid silver goblets.

  • James Dixon and Sons
  • Savoury Borthers
  • Charles Boyton
  • Mappin Brothers
  • Elkington and Co.
  • Barnards
  • Elizabeth Morely
  • Jenkins and Timm
  • Edward Kerr Reid
  • John Robins
  • Thomas Watson
  • Henry Holland
  • Gorham

Finding Antique Solid Silver Goblets on eBay

Once you determine the type of antique solid silver goblet you want to purchase, visit the Antiques portal on eBay, click on 'Solid Silver' and start searching item listings. The Categories list on the left-hand side of the eBay page helps to narrow the search.

Searching forAntique Solid Silver Gobletson eBay

Search eBay listing titles for specific words when shopping for antique solid silver goblets. For example, to find a chased silver goblet, type ‘Chased Silver Goblet’ into the search box, and then click the Advanced button to customise the results. Also visit eBay’s Search Tipsppage for more advice on searching for antique solid silver goblets with keywords. If you can’t find the exact goblet you want, try shopping eBay Stores..


A solid silver goblet is a unique dining accessory that carries with it a deep sense of history. Their antique value increases the demand from collectors and enthusiasts, and by considering some of the factors mentioned throughout this guideline, those wishing to purchase a solid silver goblet of their own can do so with confidence. Factors such as the approaches to antique goblet decoration, the definition of an antique, the exact specifications of solid silver, and some simple points for silver maintenance, all may impact an online purchasing decision. Once you have collected this information, you can buy an antique solid silver goblet safely and securely on eBay..

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