Silver Menu Holders, Place Card Holders
A set of sterling silver menu holders or place card holders. Part of the 'Classic' collection from JA Campbell. The innovative design of these menu or place card holders will create interest and be a talking point at your dinner party. Each holder is simply highly polished discs of silver soldered together to form a holder. We also make game animal versions.
To hold a dinner party is a lovely, enjoyable, social occasion. Take time to set the table with silver to show you care about the good things in life. Silver has become one of the best and more subtle status symbols in recent years. Choose good food and wine, enjoy good conversation. Let the candlelight glow softly on your silver and take pleasure in one of the best things in life.
For a special gift, the highly polished discs of silver are ideal for engraving with names or dates. A suitable silver gift for a special birthday, a wedding or silver wedding, perhaps an incentive or corporate gift. The design features and quality in every item made by craftsmen at JA Campbell are unique. 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.
The manufacturing process is explained in detail below by John Campbell: since I was a young lad, I have always been interested in how things were made and consequently I imagine other people could also be interested in how we make these menu holders. They consist of 3 component parts plus a presentation box. All 3 items are discs of silver, cut from sheet with a punch and die and are supplied to us by Cookson Precious Metals.
Our standard silver sheet alloy is made by Cookson Precious Metals and starts life as 92.5% pure silver and 7.5% pure copper. This alloy is known as sterling silver, the traditional English 925 alloy and to which most of the world has raised its standards to equal. The reason for the inclusion of 7.5% copper is not to cheapen but to make the pure silver harder. For without this addition, pure silver would be far too soft for general use. The 2 metals are poured or placed into a continuous casting machine where they are melted and mixed thoroughly. A port is opened at the bottom of the crucible through which the metal exits, cooling and solidifying. It is pulled through the exit at a controlled rate and then cut into manageable lengths. The dimensions of this ingot are about 9" wide by about 1" thick. It is then rolled in both directions to form stock sheet sizes of 0.5 metre by 1 metre. November 2015. I am led to believe that this concast method has been abandoned for the previous slab cast method.
At this stage, the sheets are very hard through all the rolling and they must be 'annealed' to soften in order that they can be worked by the silversmith. The sheets are loaded into steel boxes and placed in a furnace for about 12 hours and heated to 650 degrees C. Once they have cooled, they are removed from the boxes, cleaned and plastic-coated for protection, prior to stocking or dispatch.
When the discs arrive at our workshop, the 2 smallest are tack hard-soldered together, off centre, so that the 2 edges come together. Using a jig they are held apart. A gap is created for the menu card to be inserted.
At this point in the making, the item is punched with the makers mark, JAC in a triangle, the initials of John Campbell. It is then 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% silver are the remaining hallmarks punched into the surface while being supported on a steel stake. The English hallmarking system is one of the oldest and most secure forms of consumer protection and dates back to the 1400s.
When they arrive back from the hallmarking process, the JA Campbell name punch is applied below the hallmark on the base blank. The upright section which will hold the menu is then pre- polished and easy-soldered onto the base. The difference between the 2 solders -easy and hard- is the melting temperature. This is to ensure that the first soldering does not come apart when the second soldering is done. There are actually 4 different temperature silver solders in the hallmarking quality range.
Once the menu holder has cooled down from its final soldering, it is 'pickled' in dilute sulphuric acid, rinsed and dried. It then passes to the polishing shop where Colin and his team, using 4 different grades of compound, polish them to the brightness associated with silver. They are then ultrasonically cleaned, rinsed, inspected and packed into fitted presentation boxes for stocking or dispatch.