In the nineteenth century, silversmiths were quite common in the north — many were based in New York, Boston and Philadelphia. In the south, however, they were few and far between, which is why southern silver is highly sought after today. This tea set, made of melted-down coins, bears the mark of S.S. Cutler, a Kentucky maker/retailer from circa 1850. It belonged to the family of Congressman Albert G. Talbot (also Talbott) of Kentucky, whose name is engraved on the pieces. Those facts, combined with its family provenance, beautiful repoussé and quality silverwork, make this set quite valuable. Its auction estimate is $8,000 to $10,000.