Myfamilysilver.com, a model site for antiques

Editorial Staff

Editorial Staff

A recent visit to www.myfamilysilver.com shows that this new website, which launched in May, offers a smart business model for antiques dealers: instead of charging a commission from sales there are monthly membership and listing fees. Founded by Martyn Downer, a former head of jewelry at Sotheby’s in London and director of Corfield Morris Fine Art and Antique Advisers, and managed by Dermot Chichester, former chairman of Christie’s UK and founder of Dermot Chichester Fine Arts, myfamilysilver.com is a destination for all things silver. The main portal showcases the inventory of independent dealers and upcoming auctions worldwide, is cleverly broken down into several buyer categories, such as for the table, for sports, for drinking, for eating, for weddings, and for christenings. Quickly browsing the site revealed more than 1,000 active items ranging from a simple Victorian toast rack to a splendid Georgian centerpiece by Rundell, Bridge & Rundell. While English and continental silver are the most widely represented, the range of exhibitors and price points suggests the inventory will be continually expanding. For a sampling of wares now on the site see our slideshow below:

In addition to a glossary of silver terms and a directory of resources, a particularly novel feature of the website is a crest finder—with over 47,000 heraldic listings—that allows visitors to look up a family crest, search for it among current stock on the site, and sign up for email notifications when new stock with the relevant crest is found. It also hosts a charming and informative blog written by John Culme, the noted silver specialist and author whose work includes the indispensable The Directory of Gold and Silversmiths, 1838-1914 (1987). Myfamilysilver.com is a welcome addition to the online world of antiques that makes this venerable material accessible to old and new collectors alike.