Victorian Plate, as the term implies, is used in respect to plated articles made by the process of electolysis during the period 1840 – 1900. The effect of electoplating was similar to that of the introduction of the automobile to an age which had long known only the use of horse power. The industrial age caused the entire process of Sheffield Plating to be discarded. Electoplating was the way in which the manufacturer could bring his products to the public at large at a price that all could afford.
Victorian Plated ware is often referred to as the date “c1880.” This is an abbreviation for the term “circa” which means around. Many silver plated items bear the marks “EPNS” that stands for Electro Plated Nickel Silver or “EP” for Electro Plate.
The amount of fine Victorian Plate produced between the years 1860 and 1900 is truly amazing, not only for its huge numbers, but also for the wide variety. The difficulties of manufacturing were now overcome by the never-ending improvements due to technology. Thus, electoplated silver at this time achieved enormous popularity due to the affordability of the pieces as well as the highly elaborate and overornamented designs.