Silver was very expensive in the 18th Century and as demand was so high cheaper alternatives were sought after. In Sheffiled in 1742 Thomas Boulsover discovered the technique of fusing copper and silver with heat - the fused metal could be rolled into a sheet and then formed into objects. This process is called Old Sheffield plate and was very popular from the 1750s to the 1840s.
With this new process large quantities of items could be made quickly - candelabras, centrepieces, cutlery, dishes and bowls. Period Sheffield silverplate is very sought after.