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Silver Menu Holders, Place Card Holders, Game Animals

A set of cast sterling silver menu holders or silver 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 in the form of a particular animal or bird associated with the countryside; a stag, a pheasant, a retriever, a duck, a snipe and a partridge.

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 quality things in life. Choose good food and wine, enjoy good conversation. Why not have a light hearted guess at which bird or animal each guest would like to be associated with? Let the candlelight glow softly on your silver and take pleasure in one of the best things in life.

For a special silver gift, the menu or place card holders can be engraved 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, we provide a repair service. You can be assured that all JA Campbell 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.

Some people may be interested in how and where these items are made, a brief description follows.

Each holder consists of 3 components (4 if you count the skill of the silversmith); a silver disc for the base, the game animal casting and the back wire.

Our standard silver sheet alloy is made by Cookson Precious Metal and starts life as 92.5% pure silver and 7.5% pure copper. This alloy is also 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.

At this stage, the sheets are very hard due to the rolling process 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. The back wire is also supplied by Cookson.

The castings are made from our patterns by BAC castings in London using the 'lost wax' process. A master pattern is made of each component which is 12% larger than required. Molten wax is injected into the mould and when cooled and solidified it is removed. Several of these wax copies are joined onto a wax stem called and looking like a tree. An open-ended steel cylinder called a 'flask' is placed over the waxes and the void filled with liquid plaster of Paris. Once this has set, it is heated and the wax melted out. The flask is then heated further to 1200 degrees C to burn off all wax residues and then cooled to 400 degrees. At this temperature, a measured amount of molten silver is spun into the flask with the aid of a centrifuge. Once the flask has cooled to 200 degrees, it is plunged into water which causes the plaster to disintegrate. The cast tree is then removed and water-blasted to remove the plaster remnants and 'pickled' to remove oxides. The castings are then cut off the 'tree' and the base reused for the next casting. Examples of the above process can be found on the Internet.

When all the raw components have come together the silversmith's first job is to cut the feeder sprue from the cast animals, fettle file and make flat. Next is to cut the back wires to length. Each one is then bent around a jig to a shape rather like a goalpost. This is then soldered to the back of the casting using a spacer to form a slot for the menu. This assembly is then pickled, rinsed and inspected. It is followed by grinding the base on a flat 'linisher' to an angle of 10 degrees which will cause it to lean backwards when placed on a table.

At this stage in the making, and before the final assembly 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% silver are the hallmarks punched into the surface while being supported on a steel stake.  The English hallmarking system is one of the oldest and best 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 animal part is then pre-polished and cleaned before being soldered onto its base blank, using easy silver solder. Once the menu holder has cooled down from its soldering, it is 'pickled' in dilute sulphuric acid, then rinsed and dried. It now passes to the polishing shop where Colin and his team, using 3 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.


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:

Under base

Recommended maximum characters: 40

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.

What our customers say

These are beautiful! Hope to add the snipe and duck sometime soon. A great way to add an elegant touch to your table.

— Kaye


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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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