Press Release

Eclectic Taste: Victorian Silver Plate


CONTACT: Charles Schuler  
Director of Marketing & Communications
San Francisco International Airport 
(650) 821-5031

Eclectic Taste: Victorian Silver Plate
Inaugural exhibition at new gallery in Harvey Milk Terminal 1 presents electroplated silver items from the Victorian era.

SAN FRANCISCO— Silver-plated housewares are lustrous and ornate examples of Victorian style. Produced in large quantities in England and the United States, silver plate was a hallmark of eclectic décor during the Victorian era (1837-1901). By the late 1800s, many homes featured extensive collections of silver plate. The most elaborate items were found in the dining room and main parlor, where they served a variety of entertainment functions. Ownership of silver plate became an indicator of social and economic status, and manufacturers created highly specialized and imaginative designs to meet consumer demand.

Silver plate was developed in England during the mid-eighteenth century as a more affordable alternative to solid silver. Known first as Sheffield plate, items were made from thin sheets of silver and copper that were fused together and formed into flatware and hollowware. Electroplating, patented in 1840, is an advanced process that utilized electric current to coat metal objects with a thin layer of silver. Victorian electroplated silver designers combined elements of Gothic, Rococo, and Italian Renaissance styles with Greek and Egyptian Revival influences to create contemporary interpretations of historical styles. This exhibit presents a selection of imaginative, electroplated silver items from the Victorian era.

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Eclectic Taste: Victorian Silver Plate is located post-security in Harvey Milk Terminal 1, Departures Level, San Francisco International Airport. This exhibition is accessible to ticketed passengers from July 11, 2020 – December 13, 2020.

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Established in 1980 by the Airport Commission, SFO Museum’s mission is to delight, engage, and inspire a global audience with programming on a broad range of subjects; to collect, preserve, interpret, and share the history of commercial aviation; and to enrich the public experience at San Francisco International Airport. The Museum was granted initial accreditation from the American Association of Museums in 1999, reaccredited in 2019, and has the distinction of being the only accredited museum in an airport. Today, SFO Museum features thirty galleries throughout the Airport terminals displaying a rotating schedule of art, history, science, and cultural exhibitions, as well as the San Francisco Airport Commission Aviation Library and Louis A. Turpen Aviation Museum, a permanent collection dedicated to the history of commercial aviation. To browse current and past exhibitions, research our collection, or for more information, please visit Follow us on,, or

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