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Silver Charger Plate, Underplate, Service Plate or Lay Plate

A Silver Charger Plate, otherwise known as an Underplate, Platzteller, Unterteller, Service Plate or Lay Plate, made from thick gauge sterling silver and incorporating a soft satin finish on the inside base to minimize scuffs from plates and keep it looking great. It fits most large dinner plates up to 11.5 inches or 29.2cm diameter. Part of the 'Appetite' collection from JA Campbell Silversmiths.

Alleviating the need for placemats, these chargers or under plates add the finishing touch to your dining presentation and provide an interesting contrast to most china plate patterns and colours. Any and every colour looks good on silver. They are certain to create a talking point with your friends and guests, silver having become a subtle status symbol in recent years. They can be used to transport hot plates to and from the table and alleviate heat damage to your table and prevent odd spots of sauce reaching your tablecloth. There are different schools of thought as to how these plates should be used. One is that after the main course has been finished, it is taken away not to be seen again. The other way is to leave it in place until the desert appears and then it disappears. Chargers, Underplates or Layplates, as we know them today, superseded the earlier smaller silver plates from around 1400 on which the food would be directly served. This led to considerable damage from knives, as forks had not been invented at this stage.

This item matches and compliments other essential items in the 'Appetite' collection such as napkin rings, cruet sets and decanters. You should spoil yourself and buy some for your own use or a special present for someone close. They are sure to enhance any dinner party. They are also very suitable as a silver wedding present, a silver birthday present, a corporate or incentive gift. They can also be made in gold or other precious metals to increase their value.

For those interested in how we make these charger plates or underplates in our Brentwood workshop, a brief description follows from Master Silversmith John Campbell.

We take a large thick silver blank, supplied to us by Cookson Precious Metals and 'spin' it on a 'spinning lathe' in several stages over preformed steel 'chucks'. This is quite a low tech and old method of producing round items of hollow ware and is suited to small and medium sized production runs. Kitchen utensils and lampshades are often made this way. The tool used to coax the silver on to the 'chuck' is a polished steel 'burnisher 'with a long wooden handle. The silversmith holds this under his arm and uses his body weight to move the metal. The highly skilled part of the silversmith's task is to stop the silver disk from buckling as it moves from the flat plane to the hollow.

Next the maker's mark, JAC in a triangle, the initials of John Campbell is punched into the surface. Then comes a visit to the London Assay Office housed in Goldsmiths' Hall where the item has all its components tested. Once proved positive (that is, 92.5% silver - no minus tolerated), the remaining hallmarks are punched into the surface. Most bullion suppliers to the silversmiths ensure their alloy contains 94% silver initially to make certain no mistakes can occur. This British hallmarking system is one of the world's oldest forms of consumer protection dating back to around the 1400s. Upon return to the workshop, the service plate is now polished using 4 grades of polishing compound. This is a highly skilled process and also performs a quality control role where any faults or blemishes in the metal or from previous processes will be rectified. The item is now masked and sand-blasted in its well, then repolished to change the flat finish to a polished sheen finish while leaving the edge bright. Last but not least, the plate is ultrasonically cleaned and boxed ready for dispatch.

This item is highly suitable for engraving to further personalize with a name, initials, logo or even a vessel's name. 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.

This sterling silver charger or underplate is a pleasure to use today and a great investment to be handed down to future generations.

As with most things in life, your silver will need occasional cleaning. This does not need to be a chore and can be quite therapeutic. From as little as a quick wash up, to the occasional buff up to remove light tarnish and then less frequently a polish using silver cleaner such as Silvo.

Engraving example image

You can be assured that all
JA Campbell products are made up to a standard and not down to a price.


Engraving is a wonderful opportunity to personalize a gift. The addition of a minimum of initials, a name, a name and date, plus the occasion will cover most situations. More can be added, if required, such as a personal message.

Suggested position:

On rim, the centre or the back

Recommended maximum characters: 500

For more information regarding our engraving services, which include hand, glass, heraldic and logo engraving, please click here, or telephone Colin or John Campbell on 01277 217829 to discuss.

Compose your personal engraving message after adding this product to your basket.

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Our services


Gift wrapping

Each item purchased is packed into a luxury presentation box.

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Engraving service

Engraving your silver or crystal adds that extra personal individuality to your sterling silver gift.

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Our skilled silversmiths can perform many repairs on worn or damaged silver items.

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Swap your old silverware

We offer a swap service where you send in your old silver items.

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