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Sheffield plate chamber candlestick by Matthew Boulton, c. 1820; in the Sheffield City —Courtesy of Sheffield City Museum; Mottershaw Photography
Articles made of copper coated with silver by fusion. The technique was discovered c. 1742 by the Sheffield (Yorkshire, Eng.) cutler Thomas Boulsover, who noted that the combination of fused silver and copper retained the ductility of both metals and acted as one when manipulated. Other workshops in Britain, continental Europe, and North America also produced cooking and eating utensils of Sheffield plate. After the introduction of electroplating in 1840, production of Sheffield plate declined; by the 1870s it had all but disappeared. Admired for its soft, glowing gray lustre, Sheffield-plate ware soon came to be prized and collected.
This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise. For the full entry on Sheffield plate, visit Britannica.com.
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