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February: heralds of spring – entertainment season is upon us

Bonbon server, butter knife, butter spreader, food pusher, cheese scoop, roast holder, tongs; ice and sugar, cream ladle, gravy ladle, sardine fork – not to be confused with the bacon fork, oh and the toast fork – and there is the lettuce fork too…butter pick, fruit knife, olive server, sugar sifter, berry spoon, salt spoon (the cutest among any collection), mustard spoon, horseradish scoop…and there’s more! Ah, exhausting. Yes, the Victorian and Edwardian eras had something for everything. Imagine being the one who had to ensure that the right piece was used at the right time!

Hard to believe, but at one time utensils were not used at the table. With the exception of a wooden spoon, any type of fork or knife was considered a weapon and therefore not welcome at a place of kinship and parley – depending on the company of course. The earliest forks in Europe were placed with the tines down as a show of good will. Yet just a few hundred years later, dozens of different styles existed to ensure the leisure class had something for everything – a true mark of status.

butter spreaders with mother of pearl handles

Welcome back diners! I’ve always loved a well set table gleaming with silver (sterling or plate) flatware on a table. It brings a beautiful glimmer like nothing else can. If you squint hard enough, the lovely silver almost takes on a purple cast…no, don’t see it? Cock your head, then squint again. There, now you see it, that lovely patinaed silver, its brightness yet somehow soft. Perhaps its the beautiful Sterling Silver rose that influences my good opinion of silver flatware casting a lavender hue.

Sterling Silver rose, sadly it does not really like it here in the PNW…too much rain. Image retrieved 2/2/22 from:

Some violet cream sodas in the always beautiful Heisey Iris pattern goblet

I love these Tiffany “straws” they are even curved at the bottom to fit the shape of the glass.

Silversmiths of the day were quite good at their craft: making these beautiful silver items to be shared, used, and enjoyed today. I know many are after the sterling sets due to their silver value on the open market, so sad because so many of these patterns were true works of art. As like all things of vintage quality and beauty, they should be enjoyed and treasured. Don’t wait for a special occasion, break them out and start using them! Sterling or .925 is actually the most durable, though it can be soft. Keep in a drawer lined with silver cloth and use it frequently and it will take on a lovely patina – in lavender of course. The solid silver is also dish-washer safe, with the exception of the knives. The knives are usually hollow-handled and therefore plate. The plate can easily pit from the water and chemicals.

Here are a few of my favorites, I love all of the detail in many of these pieces. Enjoy-

A couple of different “fish” sets

This set has sterling silver with wood or bone handles –

A different, but similar set. I believe this set has celluloid handles.

A fish “serving” set. Towards the bottom, you can see the smiths mark.

I found this beautiful carving set in an antique store. It was marked $25.00, which I couldn’t believe! I kept checking the price to see if I was leaving off a zero.

Look at all of the amazing detail

More amazing detail in these vintage berry spoons

Berry spoons are make terrific serving pieces at the table or the buffet

I’m guessing on this one, cream ladles? I use the for sauces or dressings.

Olive and sugar spoons.

Sardines?? Asparagus?? These two are up for grabs! If you know, please comment!

Thanks for spending time here today. I hope you enjoyed a look at just a few of the many different silver serving pieces that were widely used. Hope to see you back in March, when we take a look at vintage glass with guest blogger and my Dress the Table partner Margaret J! Please feel free to share with others who may enjoy and I do love your comments. And don’t forget the Dinners in the DR shop has some beautiful Napkin Blings for your own spring table.

Thank you, see you next time and until then, enjoy something beautiful! ~d

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