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What Is a Soldered Silver Bowl?

Jen Davis

A number of antique silver bowls and other pieces may have the words "soldered silver" stamped somewhere on the item. The term soldered silver is used to describe the specific process through which the bowl was made. Various manufacturers produce soldered silver bowls, as well as many private artists and craftsmen.

What Is a Soldered Silver Bowl?

You may not be able to tell whether or not a silver bowl is soldered unless it is marked as such.

The term soldered silver bowl refers to a bowl that was created using the process of soldering. This means that two or more pieces of metal were soldered together to give the bowl its unique appearance. Often, the item being soldered is not pure silver but is instead silver plated. Silver soldering is commonly used by silversmiths for making silver plates and bowls as well as an assortment of metal crafts and jewelry.

What Is Soldering?

Soldering is a process used to fuse two pieces of metal together using heat to create a smooth joint or seam. Soldering involves the use of a small torch, a silver solder rod, flux and an assortment of various tools that can be used to make the soldering rod melt properly and form the bond in the joint between the two pieces of metal.

Why Use Soldering?

A soldered silver bowl may have legs, handles or decorative trim around the edges that was created apart from the bowl and soldered to the bowl by the maker to create the finished product. Silver soldering is commonly used to create detail, add design elements or make minor repairs.

Identifying Soldered Silver

Many soldered silver pieces will be marked as such, with the soldered silver label accompanying the manufacturer's information or the artist's mark on the bowl. If your silver bowl lacks distinctive marking, examine it closely. If you can see a seam or joint on the bowl, there is a strong possibility the bowl was created using soldering. If the bowl has external elements such as legs or handles, you may be able to see an area where the items appear to have been fused together. The smoothness of the seam will depend on the skill of the creator.