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The 10 most expensive silver items featured on 'Antiques Roadshow'

SD Bullion compiled a ranking of the 10 most expensive silver items featured on "Antiques Roadshow" using data from PBS.
SD Bullion compiled a ranking of the 10 most expensive silver items featured on "Antiques Roadshow" using data from PBS. - PBS
SD Bullion compiled a ranking of the 10 most expensive silver items featured on "Antiques Roadshow" using data from PBS. - PBS
Beth Mowbray, Data Work By Karim Noorani

For over 5,000 years, dating back to Anatolia in 3000 B.C., silver has been mined and sold as a precious commodity across the globe. People first used the metal for coins and jewelry, but by the 1700s, silversmiths in Europe and the American colonies popularized silver household items, including coffee pots, teapots, and sugar bowls. This display of wealth continues today, with luxury retailers like Tiffany & Co. peddling high-end sterling silver goods since the mid-1800s and Vogue proclaiming silver one of the top “interior design trend[s] of the moment” in 2024.

For 45 years, “Antiques Roadshow” has charmed viewers who have wondered what valuable items—perhaps a silver pitcher, punch bowl, or vase—they might have hidden in their attic or china cabinet. SD Bullion compiled a ranking of the 10 most expensive silver items featured on the American version of “Antiques Roadshow” using data from PBS. Items were ranked according to their average appraised value on the show. Auction, retail, and insurance values were weighted equally and noted with each appraisal.

Described as “part adventure, part history lesson, and part treasure hunt,” the network’s most-watched show attracted an estimated 5 million viewers each week in 2023. The premise is simple: Top appraisers visit cities across the country to provide free estimates for antiques, collectibles, and family heirlooms while sharing facts about each piece. Weighing factors like the item’s condition and market trends, they provide a point-in-time estimate of the item’s value, depending on their expertise—whether as an auctioneer or antique shop owner.

Keep reading to learn more about the priciest silver pieces ever seen on the show.


A Jacob Hurd cream jug as seen on The Antiques Roadshow.

PBS

#8. 1745 Jacob Hurd cream jug (tie)

– Value: $30,000 to $50,000 (Auction)
– Appraiser: Jeanne Sloane
– Episodes: Vintage New York (#2020), New York, Hour 3 (#0606), Roadshow Remembers (#1017)

This family heirloom passed down from the owner’s great-aunt is one of an estimated 15 remaining in the U.S. This cream jug, crafted by renowned Boston silversmith Jacob Hurd, is even more valuable because of the decorative scenes engraved on the side. Borders alongside images of ducks and houses boosted the estimated auction value when the jug was appraised on the show in 2001. A similar piece Jacob Hurd made in the same year (circa 1745) sold at Christie’s for $113,525 three years later in 2004.

A Kalo silver teaset service as seen on The Antiques Roadshow.

PBS

#8. 1920 Kalo silver service (tie)

– Value: $30,000 to $50,000 (Auction)
– Appraiser: Reid Dunavant
– Episode: Birmingham, Hour 2 (#1911)

Tied in value with the Jacob Hurd cream jug, this silver service was commissioned by the owner’s grandfather as a gift for his wife. The set was made by the Kalo Shop in Chicago, which played an important part in the early 20th-century Arts and Crafts movement, where people prized handmade items over machine-made pieces. Not only is it rare to find such a large silver service, but this set features ivory accents and a family monogram. It is accompanied by sketches from the planning process.

A Russian enamel silver punch bowl and ladle.

PBS

#8. 1890 Russian enamel silver punch bowl and ladle (tie)

– Value: $40,000 (Retail)
– Appraiser: not available
– Episode: Minneapolis, Hour 1 (#1616)

The owner of this silver punch bowl and ladle inlaid with a floral motif inherited it from their mother. The colorful enamel is known as cloisonné, a method that melts glass paste between thin wire strips. The maker’s mark has been struck out on the bottom of the piece—perhaps by someone wishing to pass it off as a higher-end Fabergé set, valued up to $150,000—however, a mark indicating 84-grade silver remains.

A silver pitcher from Tiffany and Company.

PBS

#7. 1880 Tiffany & Co. silver pitcher

– Value: $25,000 to $60,000 (Insurance)
– Appraiser: Christopher Barber
– Episode: Stan Hywet Hall & Gardens, Hour 2 (#2814)

Purchased in London by the owner’s grandfather around 1950, this water pitcher was made during the late 1800s when Tiffany & Co.’s fine craftsmanship won awards at world fairs from Paris to Philadelphia. What makes this piece particularly valuable are the unique shape and flowing design prevalent only from 1879 to 1887—the time period during which master silversmith Charles Osborne worked for the company. The name “Henderson” is engraved on the bottom, suggesting a particular individual or family commissioned the piece.

A Paul Storr silver wine cooler as seen on The Antiques Roadshow.

PBS

#6. 1814 Paul Storr silver wine cooler

– Value: $40,000 to $60,000 (Auction)
– Appraiser: David Walker
– Episode: Little Rock, Hour 3 (#2006)

This wine cooler, purchased by a jeweler for just $1,000 in 1990, was made by one of England’s greatest silversmiths, Paul Storr. This vessel is one of a pair designed by Storr’s frequent partner, English sculptor John Flaxman, who was also known for his work for Wedgwood. The image on the side is Flaxman’s interpretation of the work of ancient Greek poet Theocritus. If both wine coolers remained together, the pair would bring an estimated $100,000-$150,000 at auction.

A silver service and dresser set as seen on The Antiques Roadshow.

PBS

#5. 1900 silver service and dresser set

– Value: $60,000 to $80,000 (Insurance)
– Appraiser: Frank Boos
– Episodes: Vintage Tucson (#2019), Tucson, Hour 2 (#0602), Greatest Finds (#0814)

Although the value of this 13-piece set has declined since it originally featured on the show in 2001—when the estimated insurance value was $100,000 to $110,000—the 2016 value remains high enough to break into the top five on this list. The ornately detailed collection includes a serving tray, three pots, a sugar bowl, a cream jug, a cup and saucer, a candlestick, and more. All pieces of this set, which has remained in a single family for a century, were made by two Baltimore businesses: Gorham Silver Company and Jacobi & Jenkins.

An ornate, bejeweled silver jewelry casket.

PBS

#4. 1912 Ivan Khlebnikov jewelry casket

– Value: $70,000 to $90,000 (Auction)
– Appraiser: Sarah Shinn Pratt
– Episode: Vintage Savannah (#2220)

The value of this early 20th-century jewelry casket increased tremendously between its original 2003 airing on the show—when the estimated auction value was just $10,000 to $15,000—and this updated appraisal 15 years later. A Cyrillic inscription inside dated 1912 and a maker’s mark along the edge confirm the container is one of Russian silversmith Ivan Khlebnikov’s masterpieces. Rounded, polished gems known as cabochon stones and detailed engravings make this jewelry case—which opens in two places to provide ample storage—quite valuable.

A silver tea and coffee service as seen on The Antiques Roadshow.

PBS

#3. 1900 Gorham ‘Martelé’ tea and coffee service

– Value: $90,000 (Insurance)
– Appraiser: Stuart Whitehurst
– Episode: Washington, Hour 1 (#1516)

This sterling silver tea and coffee service was made by one of Tiffany & Co.’s largest competitors—a Providence, Rhode Island, manufacturer named Gorham. The set consists of seven pieces: a large serving tray, hot water kettle, coffee pot, teapot, sugar bowl, cream jug, and a container to hold loose tea. This particular line—”Martelé,” a French term meaning “to hammer”—became popular at the turn of the 20th century with the rise of the Art Nouveau movement.

A silver World's Fair Exhibition vase from 1893.

PBS

#2. 1893 Tiffany & Co. World’s Fair Exhibition vase

– Value: $100,000 to $150,000 (Auction)
– Appraiser: Ronald Bourgeault
– Episodes: Tearjerkers (#2522), Madison, Hour 2 (#1408)

Passed down by the owner’s great-aunt, this one-of-a-kind vase is made of sterling silver adorned with vibrant enamel, American turquoise, and various other stones. The stamp on the bottom indicates this unique piece was made by Tiffany & Co. for the 1893 World Fair, also known as the Columbian Exposition. The vase has only grown in value since it was first appraised on the show for $50,000 to $100,000 in 2009.

A silver tea and coffee set is appraised on The Antiques Roadshow.

PBS

#1. Tea and coffee silver

– Value: $25,000 to $700,000 (Auction)
– Appraiser: Reid Dunavant
– Episode: Richmond, Hour 1 (#1816)

This episode examined notable 18th-century pieces from the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, including a teapot made by Paul Revere around 1790 (pictured on the left) with an estimated value of $120,000. English coffee pots like the one on the right, made by French silversmith Paul de Lamerie in 1738, have sold for around $25,000. The American coffee pot pictured in the center, however, is much more valuable than its English counterpart. Only 14 known pieces like this one were made by New York silversmith Myer Myers in the 1760s, driving previous sale prices up over $120,000.

Story editing by Carren Jao. Additional editing by Kelly Glass. Copy editing by Kristen Wegrzyn. Photo selection by Michael Flocker.

This story originally appeared on SD Bullion and was produced and
distributed in partnership with Stacker Studio.

Stacker
Written By

Founded in 2017, Stacker combines data analysis with rich editorial context, drawing on authoritative sources and subject matter experts to drive storytelling.

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