Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Old Silver


Saturday in Ohio we browsed an antique mall and I came away with a few things I really liked.

One of those things was a bag of mis-matched silverware. Why did I pay $10 for it? Because in that bag were two things I wanted: a small ladle and a strainer teaspoon for loose tea. I suppose $10 is a lot for just two items but the rest of the bag yielded all sorts of treasures.

This silver has yet to be cleaned, but look how it shines.

Of course, being in a plastic bag you know it was tarnished pretty badly. I finally had time to look at what I'd bought (talk about your pig in a poke!) on Monday evening.

There are some of the most beautiful pieces in this lot that I've ever seen. Some have lost some of their silverplate, of course, but even so the work in these spoons, forks, knives and serving pieces is lovely. Two of the little baby spoons in the lot are not in the photos because we cleaned them and gave them to our granddaughter Jordan for her new baby. (Born with a silver spoon in her mouth? Sort of!)

What makes me most curious is what some of these pieces were used for--like the little knives, or the tiny pick, or the spoons with the oddly curved ends. Obviously each had a specific purpose but I have no idea what it might be.


My mother liked silverware, plated or not. She used it daily on her table. I have her silver chest with its mostly matching wares; I have not yet used it, but I think we will start doing that when we lose more of the stainless set--we're down to about 4 teaspoons, I think. Where they go I have no idea, but they certainly disappear.



Larry has cleaned some of the pieces and he plans to finish the job tomorrow. I have to decide what to keep and what to send to other homes.



The spoon marked "Cromwell" and "1895" on a piece of tape that also says "$18.00" I will definitely keep--it's a beauty.




And the serving set dated 1847 is a keeper too. And the little knife marked "sterling."

And the knife with the flowers curling up the blade,



and the fork with the flowers, and the little knives with the S monogram...

There may not be too many pieces looking for a home at this rate.

12 comments:

smallpines.com said...

That's pretty cool! Besides the two cool things you found (love the strainer spoon), that might set a fun table. We bought our silverware that way - just picked up the mismatched pieces we liked out of a bin at an antique store, and decided to purposely mismatch them. Don't worry - our plates DO match. LOL

Marilyn said...

Wow. I'm very envious. I love silver--probably because my mother did. The pick thing is a nut pick, I think, and the spoon with the odd pointy bowl is a jelly spoon (used for molded jellies). The little knives are individual butter knives. And the sterling piece was worth what you paid for the whole bag by itself. Such lovely things. I have a tomato server, an olive pick, and a marrow spoon, among other pieces. Sadly, my daughter and daughters-in-law are much to practical for anything like this that must be polished.

Rowan said...

What a marvellous haul and all for $10! I pretty much agree with Marilyn about the uses, the pick I would have said was for pickled onions etc and the knives could be either fruit knives or butter knives.I have a beautiful set of pearl handled fruit knives, they never get used though. I ought to get them out occasionally along with other things I have tucked away.

solsticedreamer~laoi gaul~williams said...

ohh how lovely! i just love anything mis-matched, beautiful and useful (shades of william morris here!) and think of the history of them!

Amy said...

I love to find unexpected treasures in an antique store. You found a great bargain! Don't you wonder who these pieces belonged to, how many families they represent? I totally agree they should be used and loved! Enjoy!

Janet, said...

Those are beautiful, Susanne!I love that spoon, it's beautiful. I have odd pieces, too, picked up at thrift stores and yard sales. Mom didn't have silver or a chest to put it in, just plane ole spoons and forks in the drawer. Did you say some had an "S" engraved on them? That sounds interesting.

Granny Sue said...

Kindred souls here! My mother loved silver and used it for everday--she also had 2 chests and a drawer full.

As you say, Marilyn, often younger generations aren't interested and I didn't think I was; but the silver chest reminded me of childhood days at the big dining table with my sisters, laughing and polishing. Only a few of us wanted the silver so we divided it among us.

Thank you for identifying the uses. I thought the little knives might be fruit knives, but the pick and the pointed spoons left me clueless. There is a smll strainer spoon too, as well as sugar shells. I think the strainer spoon might be for olives?

Granny Sue said...

Pines, that is just what I intend to do! I love all the different patterns, why stick with just one? I used to do the mismatchd plates thing but my sons seemed to think I jsut couldn't afford a set! So now I have matching (but three different sets depending on my mood). And the teacups, wineglasses, etc--all mismatched. The side benefit of this--besides the fun of the varied patterns and colors--is that when something breaks it's no big deal to replace it.

Granny Sue said...

Rowan, that's an idea--pickled onions. It could be a nut pick, but it seems to be too broad for that.

laoi, the history is intriguing to me too. There is one pickle fork engraved ACC. On the back it says Columbus Athletic Club--so it's from Columbus, Ohio, and probably a men's club. Several others, including one of the baby spoons, have monograms. I wonder if some of them didn't get carried to Ohio from England or Ireland, but I need a better magnifying glass to read the backs. My son Jon was able to read many of them, but I didn't write down what he was saying.

warren said...

Beautiful pieces...well worth your $10!

Oh to know the stories behind the pieces!

Anonymous said...

Isn't it funny how as we age (gracefully) we find the same interests as our mothers? As soon as I saw the picture of the fork and spoon I thought of Mom and her search for silver utensils. She gave me silver teaspoons to use with my pretty teacups, because stainless would never do! I like old silver as well and I also like to find and use old linens! Just like Mom. :)
tm

Jaime said...

The detail is amazing. I love the little flowers. And the price you paid, even more amazing.

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