Elkington & Co. are one of the most important names in English silver and certainly the most important in silver plate. They began life in Birmingham as a company of silversmiths in 1836, and experimented with improving gilding techniques. By 1838 they had discovered and patented a new way to electroplate one metal on to the surface of another. By 1840 production was already underway with silver electroplated wares. The company received financial backing from Josiah Mason in 1842 (renaming the firm Elkington, Mason & Co between 1842 and 1861) and was extremely successful. It introduced electrotyping as a new method of production for silver plated items. Elkington & Co exhibited at the Great Exhibition of 1851 with enormous success.
In 1885 Elkington registered designs by Christopher Dresser. Dresser's designs included tea services, sugar bowls, claret jugs, kettles, cruet stands, baskets, a tureen and a tankard. His models are recorded in Elkington's silver and plated ware pattern-books.
Elkington held Royal Warrants for Queen Victoria, King Edward VII, King George V, King Edward VIII, and King George VI. The Elkington & Co. name is still in use today as manufacturers under the auspices of British Silverware Ltd.
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