German Silver

German Silver

During the second half of the 19th Century, a new fashion inspired by antique styles such as Medieval, Classical or Baroque widespread in Europe and influenced revivals in architecture, fine art and decorative art.

In Germany this manner became particularly popular and was known as Historismus, consisting in copying or re-elaborating historic styles and famous museum objects. The historicist style had a huge impact on the decorative arts, and particularly on silverware.
German silver is usually marked “800” (more rarely “Sterling Germany”, for the 20th Century pieces), as by law it has to be at least 800/1000 coin standard. This doesn’t necessarily mean that Hanau silver purity is always 800/1000. A large amount of Hanau silver was made to be exported (mostly to England and America), being further hallmarked with sterling silver marks, proving that the silver content is often 925 sterling, therefore higher than the standard required by the German law. Neresheimer & Co, for instance, enjoyed a long and successful business relation with Berthold Mueller, agent in London and Chester: these products are always hallmarked with English import marks (lion rampant, 925 sterling silver).