The Silver Vaults are unlike any shops that you have likely seen before. To find it, you have to make your way to London’s Chancery Lane in between the West and City End. There you will enter the Southampton building on the ground floor. The Silver Vaults, which is world-renowned for having the biggest retail collection of fine antique silver in the world, lies several floors underground and tucked within vaulted walls.
The location itself makes Silver Vaults quite unique. As you go down the stairs, what will unfold before your eyes is a myriad of silver items that feature a wide range styles and represent every period imaginable. It is a truly an amazing collection of fine antique and modern silver that even if you have no intention of buying; the Silver Vaults still makes a fascinating destination in London.
Silver Vaults houses many independent businesses that set up their own shops, which are also called vaults. Chancery Lane Safe Deposit Company started this business in 1885. Interestingly, it is also one of the first companies in England that offered safety deposit boxes to the population. The impressive vaults, which are the safe keepers of the silver treasures, are steel-lined and 1.2 meters thick.
Shopping is at its best at Silver Vaults. Here, you can see everything from silver candelabra and cutlery to full size silver furniture. The silver items were brought to the shop by various notable dealers from all over the country. Most of them are family-owned businesses that have been in the family not less than 50 years. Other sellers are originally private collectors or seasoned silver traders who decided to offer their exquisite collections. But aside from the English dealers, there are also 30 specialist retailers who originated from other parts of the world.
Take the time to browse around the vaults. Keep an eye out for the classical silver work that is absolutely crowd pleasers. Some of these items date back as far as the 16th century, and are most probably worth a fortune. Since the collection represents each century, you can see how the silver style has evolved over hundreds of years. Silver decorative pieces will capture your imagination. But if you want something small, there is a wide array of jewelry, watches and other accessories. Believe or not, there are also really tiny items like silver stamps, which are a collector’s dream.
Because of their desire to maintain a high reputation, you can be assured that all silver pieces sold in Silver Vaults are authenticated by industry experts. One of the most distinguished collections you can find here is Argenteus, which is situated at Vault 2. Another prominent brand that is represented at Silver Vaults is I.Franks.
Despite its popularity, the prices for the items at Silver Vaults are generally lower than other shops in the UK. This is because there are many competing businesses here that offer products of the same high quality standard. But the Silver Vaults’ collection is not only for the amusement of collectors and enthusiasts. This retail treasure also reflects the excellent English silver craftsmanship that has blossomed throughout several centuries. So, if you want to witness this interesting side of the English heritage, make sure to stop by at Silver Vaults when you are visiting London.