The Timeless Treasure of Silver Teapots

The Timeless Treasure of Silver Teapots
This gorgeous silver tea set is from Lucullus Antiques in New Orleans, Louisiana. Photography by Jim Bathie.

Some might even say that taking tea from a silver teapot improves the taste of the beverage. “Whether the pot itself affects the taste of the tea is merely a matter of opinion,” says Nicholas Dawes, Senior Vice President of Special Collections for Heritage Auctions in New York and an appraiser on the hit PBS television show Antiques Roadshow. “However, the experience of enjoying a fresh pot of tea from a silver service is undoubtedly luxurious and enhances the teatime to be more than just drinking a warm brew.”

Silver tea sets, though highly sought after in antiques stores, are not automatically valuable because of their glossy metallic appearance. There are several things to consider when purchasing silver. An authentic sterling-silver teapot retains its value, or even increases in value, over time based on several determining factors: workmanship, condition, maker, hallmarks, and, of course, age and rarity. When determining the worth of silver teapots, it can be difficult to appraise, as many were gifted long ago and have been passed down through the generations. True silver, however, always possesses certain hallmarks or distinguishing features to help determine its value.