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Sterling Silver Teapots & Sets

A proper European tea ceremony would not be complete without a sterling tea set, as the tradition of serving tea with a sterling silver set dates back centuries. Tea made its way to Europe in the 17th century when affluent merchants and nobility took up drinking tea.

Over the course of the next century, black tea gained in popularity among a wider spectrum of society with those who sought to emulate the lifestyles of the upper classes. Thanks in part to Queen Victoria’s affinity for tea, the steeped beverage became associated with wealth and status.

By the 18th century, sterling teapots and sets become more plentiful, but they still represented aspirational items that were prohibitively expensive for the majority of citizens. Today, silver teapots and sets are among the most common, though many are silver plated rather than solid sterling. The latter material makes an excellent choice for serving tea and coffee because of the metal’s natural ability to retain heat, keeping beverages warm for a long period of time. Also, unlike ceramics, sterling is incredibly durable, so it will never chip or crack if accidentally dropped.


Quick Facts

  • In 2014, Sotheby’s sold a Tiffany & Co. tea service for 40,000 GBP
  • Skinner Auctioneers sold a sterling Tiffany & Co. coffee and tea service for more than $22,000, more than four times the original estimate
  • Aside from Tiffany & Co., Handarbeit of Germany and Arthur Stone are among the most expensive makers of tea sets, often commanding many tens of thousands of dollars

Recommended Items at Auction

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London 1836 4 Pc Sterling Vermeil Tea Set Service
Feb 24, 11:00 AM EST
London 1836 4 Pc Sterling Vermeil Tea Set Service
by Kavanagh Auctions
Est: $400- $15,000
$7506 Bids
Currier and Roby American Sterling 6pc Coffee / Tea Service
Mar 09, 10:00 AM EST
Currier and Roby American Sterling 6pc Coffee / Tea Service
by Premier Auction Galleries
Est: $2,000- $4,000
$6004 Bids
An American coin silver teapot, Thibault & Brothers, Philadelphia, PA, early 19th century
Feb 28, 10:00 AM PST
An American coin silver teapot, Thibault & Brothers, Philadelphia, PA, early 19th century
by Andrew Jones Auctions
Est: $400- $600
$3503 Bids
Sterling Silver 3 Piece Tea Set
Mar 06, 11:00 AM EST
Sterling Silver 3 Piece Tea Set
by Bodnar's Auction Sales
Est: $500- $700
$602 Bids
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Antique Chinoiserie Sterling Tea Caddy 5.4 TOz
Feb 25, 12:00 PM EST
Antique Chinoiserie Sterling Tea Caddy 5.4 TOz
by Neely Auction
Est: $100- $200
$552 Bids
Josef Carl von Klinkosch, Three-piece tea service
Feb 29, 11:00 AM CST
Josef Carl von Klinkosch, Three-piece tea service
by Toomey & Co. Auctioneers
Est: $600- $800
$2502 Bids
Barbour Sterling Silver 5 pc. Tea Set
Feb 23, 9:30 AM EST
Barbour Sterling Silver 5 pc. Tea Set
by Merrill's Auctioneers & Appraisers
Est: $1,000- $1,500
$5502 Bids
ENGLISH STERLING TEAPOT ON STAND WITH BURNER
Feb 25, 11:00 AM EST
ENGLISH STERLING TEAPOT ON STAND WITH BURNER
by Thomaston Place Auction Galleries
Est: $1,000- $1,500
$5001 Bid
Antique c. 1900 Goodnow & Jenks Boston, MA. Sterling Silver Tea Pot w/ Mahogany Handle
Mar 18, 6:00 PM EDT
Antique c. 1900 Goodnow & Jenks Boston, MA. Sterling Silver Tea Pot w/ Mahogany Handle
by One Source Auctions
Est: $0- $0
$501 Bid
DOMINICK & HAFF STERLING BEVERAGE SERVICE
Feb 25, 11:00 AM EST
DOMINICK & HAFF STERLING BEVERAGE SERVICE
by Thomaston Place Auction Galleries
Est: $3,000- $3,500
$1,5001 Bid
Gorham Neoclassical Sterling 3 pc. Tea Set
Feb 23, 9:30 AM EST
Gorham Neoclassical Sterling 3 pc. Tea Set
by Merrill's Auctioneers & Appraisers
Est: $800- $1,000
$4001 Bid
ENGLISH GOLDSMITHS & SILVERSMITHS STERLING SPIRIT KETTLE
Feb 25, 10:00 AM CST
ENGLISH GOLDSMITHS & SILVERSMITHS STERLING SPIRIT KETTLE
by Austin Auction Gallery
Est: $600- $800
$5501 Bid
(3) ENGLISH GEORGE III STERLING SILVER PART TEA SERVICE
Feb 25, 10:00 AM CST
(3) ENGLISH GEORGE III STERLING SILVER PART TEA SERVICE
by Austin Auction Gallery
Est: $700- $1,000
$5001 Bid
Tiffany & Co. Sterling Tea & Coffee Service
Feb 29, 12:00 PM EST
Tiffany & Co. Sterling Tea & Coffee Service
by Alex Cooper
Est: $3,000- $5,000
$1,5001 Bid
INTERNATIONAL ROYAL DANISH FIVE PIECE TEA SET.
Mar 06, 10:00 AM EST
INTERNATIONAL ROYAL DANISH FIVE PIECE TEA SET.
by William Smith Auctions
Est: $800- $1,200
$4001 Bid
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Antq F. Walter Lawrence Silver Tea Caddy 7.5 TOz
Feb 25, 12:00 PM EST
Antq F. Walter Lawrence Silver Tea Caddy 7.5 TOz
by Neely Auction
Est: $150- $200
$751 Bid
AN ANTIQUE SILVER TEA CADDY. Chester 1918. 221 grams. 10.5 cm x 6.75 cm.
Feb 28, 10:00 AM GMT
AN ANTIQUE SILVER TEA CADDY. Chester 1918. 221 grams. 10.5 cm x 6.75 cm.
by Hannam's Auctioneers
Est: £100- £150
£41 Bid
Karl Gustav Hansen, Teapot model no. 418, Hans Hansen, Denmark 1965, silver.
Mar 06, 11:00 AM CET
Karl Gustav Hansen, Teapot model no. 418, Hans Hansen, Denmark 1965, silver.
by Goudwisselkantoor Veilingen
Est: €750- €1,250
€5001 Bid
American Sterling Silver Tea Set
Feb 25, 1:00 PM EST
American Sterling Silver Tea Set
by Hoch LTD.
Est: $200- $300
$1001 Bid
Visinoni 800 silver tea and coffee service
Feb 28, 9:00 AM EST
Visinoni 800 silver tea and coffee service
by Pook & Pook Inc.
Est: $1,200- $1,400
$6001 Bid
Sterling Silver Tea Strainer
Feb 29, 10:00 AM EST
Sterling Silver Tea Strainer
by Berner's Auction Gallery
Est: $10- $1,000
$11 Bid
TIFFANY & CO. MODEL 17880A STERLING TEA SET.
Feb 23, 10:00 AM EST
TIFFANY & CO. MODEL 17880A STERLING TEA SET.
by Quinn's Auction Galleries
Est: $2,000- $3,000
$1,0001 Bid

Sellers Who Sell Sterling Silver Teapots & Sets


Lyon & Turnbull

Lyon & Turnbull

Goudwisselkantoor Veilingen

Goudwisselkantoor Veilingen

Veilinghuis Van Spengen

Veilinghuis Van Spengen

Hannam's Auctioneers

Hannam's Auctioneers