Silver Coasters for Glasses with Maple Wood Stand
A set of sterling silver coasters, each four inches in diameter, which are hand-spun and have a scratch resistant finish on the top inner surface. The remainder is bright finish. They are supplied on a hand turned, maple wood base with a cork underlay.
These coasters can be bought individually or in sets on the wooden base. Prices on request for sets comprising more than 4 coasters.
Whether used in the home or al fresco, these silver coasters are an indication that quality matters to you. These individual silver coasters have a wide range of uses, from holding a water glass or wine glass on the dining table, sitting out in the garden with a refreshing glass of Pimms, or for that glass of after dinner port. Wherever they are used, they will help to protect your tables from watermarks or stains. Their simplicity enhances any occasion while serving a useful purpose.
This set of sterling silver coasters on their maple wood base are an ideal silver present for any couple on their wedding day or as a gift to friends or family. If the occasion demands, these silver coasters can also be gold-plated or even made from gold. They are suitable to engrave with a message of your choice or perhaps a coat of arms or club motif. an engraving always becomes a talking point and brings back happy memories.
Coasters in a variety of sizes were common accessories from the 1770s. They were used for decanters, bottles and glasses to protect the surfaces below. Spinning -the method used to produce these silver coasters- is an ancient method dating back to Roman times at least. The larger dishes in the Mildenhall collection in the British Museum in London have the tell tale signs of this method of production.
For those people who are interested in how we make this set, a brief description follows: there are 3 components which are the silver coaster, the maple wood base and the cork underlay.
The silver coasters are made in-house using the 'metal spinning' method. This an ancient process of making round, hollow objects from sheet metal, in this case silver. Although a rather ancient method, it is still practical today for making relatively small batch sizes. In this instance, the coasters are spun in 3 operations. The first stage spin, the second pulling the hollow wire back and the third closing the round, hollow wire.
The machine used to spin items is known as a metal spinning lathe and it can be used to make various articles including cooking utensils and lampshades. Whatever the application, the method stays the same. A pre-formed shape known as a 'chuck' is made on the lathe. This is a solid model of what is to be reproduced and the material from which it is made could be wood, brass or steel, depending on the length of the production run or the life-span requirement of the tool. A metal disc or blank is clamped to the chuck which is rotating. While it is spinning, the craftsman coaxes/forces the blank over the chuck until it fits like a cover. The tool used for this, usually made by the craftsman himself, is known as the spinning tool. It is a polished steel burnisher fitted into a long wooden handle and used with a lubricant made up of soap and mineral oil. With a sweeping side to side movement, the metal blank moves onto and up the chuck.
As you can imagine, any flat sheet material tries to buckle or fold and it is the skill of the craftsman to prevent this happening. Occasionally a slip-up occurs and the piece does buckle. This can be rectified by removing it from the lathe and, with a plunging hammer, tapping the fold out. Then it's back on the lathe for a resumption of the spinning. The majority of our silver comes from our preferred supplier, Cookson Precious Metal. This is known as standard silver or sterling silver and is an alloy of 92.5% pure silver and 7.5% pure copper. This small amount of copper is added not for cheating purposes but to harden the otherwise much too soft silver that would dent every time it was used.
At this stage in the making, the item is sent to the London Assay Office for testing of each and every component. Only if all the components prove to be better than 92.5% pure silver are the hallmarks burnt into the surface using a laser. This independent English hallmarking system is one of the oldest and best forms of consumer protection and dates back to the 1400s.
Upon return to the workshop, the coaster is polished using 2 grades of compound to a high lustre with a brush finish on the back. A ring shield is placed into the coaster, leaving the centre bottom surface exposed. It is then held in a sand-blasting cabinet and etched. The shield leaves the edge bright as a contrast. Back in the polishing shop, the sand-blasted surface is lightly polished again to take the finish to a satin gloss.
Maple wood base: this component is also made in-house and is cut from a maple wood board using a band saw. A hole is drilled in the centre of one side and it is screwed on to the lathe. It is then turned by hand to the correct shape, sandpapered and polished using 2 grades of compound again on the polishing lathe. At this stage, the cork base is glued to the underside and the whole assembly of coasters and base inspected and packed into fitted presentation boxes.
In the unlikely event of damage, JA Campbell provide a full repair service. You can be assured that all our products are made up to a standard, not down to a price. Nothing leaves the Brentwood workshop until Master Silversmith John Campbell is completely satisfied.