The originators of silver-plating were George Richards Elkington and Henry Elkington who began their research in times of the Industrial Revolution. By the 1830's they had patented their processes and 1840 saw the technique of electro-plating brought to perfection.
John Culme, in his Directory of Gold and Silversmiths, said that "Elkington Electroplate was soon accepted with the result that the firm allowed a number of manufacturers to use the technique under licence. Among the earliest granted were those of Christofle & Cie of France".
In 1868, Queen Victoria permitted much of the royal plate to be copied by Elkingtons and after that a convention was entered into by "several Princes of the reigning families of Europe" whereby they agreed mutually to assist the company in allowing copies of their own national objects for the process of art.
For its excellence in artistic quality and fine design for which the company has received the highest possible awards at the Great International Exhibitions, Elkington & Co. has been awarded the Legion d'Honneur of the French Republic and has the distinction and honour of holding Royal Warrants to their late Majesties Queen Victoria, King Edward VII, Queen Alexandra, King George V, Queen Mary and King George VI, as well as the Duke of Windsor (formerly King Edward VIII) and H.R.H. the late Princess Christian and their late majesties the King of Spain and King of Italy.
You will also find Elkington cutlery on display in the Royal Yacht Britannia's Banqueting Room, having been used by the British Royal Family and the many distinguished guests who have spent time on the Yacht, up to the time that it was decommissioned in the late 1990's.
For more information on the Elkington family from one of the descendants, please see here - Elkington Family History.
Cutlery that is made in Sheffield comes with a guarantee of high quality that can immediately be seen in the design and manufacture of cutlery available with the Elkington/James Dixon/Cobb brands that are available via this web site.
Please see the technical details below, or check out our Customer Feedback to appreciate what quality you might own were you to order cutlery and flatware from this web site.
Elkington Silver Plated Nickel Silver Cutlery:-
This company was among one of the largest manufacturers in Sheffield, founded in 1805. They worked from a purpose-built factory by the side of the River Don (Cornish Works), moving there in 1822. Dixons made their fortune by making cutlery and household objects from Britannia Metal (an alloy of tin, antimony and copper, which looks like silver when polished and was a fraction of the cost to produce), Old Sheffield Plate and pewterware. Later they produced electroplated objects, high end silver items, and were well known for their work on sporting and commemorative trophies.
Ideal for all EPNS and some other suitable metals. Cutlery, Trophies, Candlesticks, Trays, Bowls, Tea Services, and many more...
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In 1238, King Henry II commanded six reputable craftsmen in the silversmith trade to control and regulate standards. This was to stop greedy and unscrupulous manufacturers defrauding the public by substituting white base metal for the prized and much sought after precious metal silver. Thus was created the British Hallmarking System which is probably the earliest recorded piece of Consumer Protection, and over 775 years later, is unquestionably the most enduring.
A hallmark gives the purchaser a visible guarantee of quality. Before any piece of Silver can be hallmarked, it is individually tested at the Assay Office to determine its purity and, if found to be of the required standard, laid down by statute, then, and only then is it hallmarked.
Elkington's Sterling Silver cutlery is hallmarked at the Sheffield Assay Office. To learn more about what this means you may visit the Assay Office Web Site.
For sets supplied by Elkington or James Dixon they currently have a time-to-completion of an estimated 12 weeks for the manufacturing process. Sterling silver items need to be hallmarked which involves the goods spending some time at the Assay Office in Sheffield. This can add a week or so onto the time-to-completion period.
The Elkington cutlery patterns on display on this site are a culmination of craftsmanship covering a period of elegant refined classical designs from the early 1600's to the present day. Click here to view the current range of patterns on our Patterns Selector page. Elkington cutlery is available in Aegean | Bead | Continental Thread | Dubarry | Grecian (Athenian) | Kings | Lily | Louis XIV | Old English | Rattail | Reed & Ribbon | Strathmore | Venetian.