Q & A with ValueMyStuff's Silver specialist

ValueMyStuff sat down with our silver specialist, John Phillips, for a Q & A. Learn more about why John continues to love the silver market and get insight into a specialist's valuation.

Silver & Metals

Having read Chemistry at Oxford University, followed by a spell at Whinney Murray in London training to be an accountant, I made the decision to see if it might be possible to follow my long standing interest in antique and fine art. I joined Phillips, Son & Neale, just off  Bond Street, as a junior clerk to dip my toe in the water and never looked back.  After a few months at Phillips I was delighted to join their silver department as a trainee cataloguer under the tutelage, among others, of a Mr MacDonald, whose experience went back many years, having first started in the silver trade in the 1920’s. This meant that I was being trained by someone who, at the beginning of his career, had been cataloguing George IV (1820-30) silver as modern, the convention in those days being that when a piece was less than 100 years old it was listed as ‘Modern Silver’! 

This grounding gave me a specialist knowledge of silver that has been honed over a career of more than forty years, mostly with Sotheby’s, initially in Canada, then in the UK and sometimes Europe, working as both a general valuer and silver specialist.

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