The Story Behind this Blog

Being from the South, Silver is a very big part of my life. It doesn't have anything to do with wealth. Although those with more money - old money, tend to have more of it. New money tend not to spend their money on Silver. They do not have the appreciation for the warmth of the metal, the beauty of the patina, the story it tells of the generations past who have used it. A true southern girl comes of age when she chooses her silver pattern, long before she chooses her mate. If she is smart, she chooses that of her mother, grandmother, or favorite great aunt who in their benevolence will pass their silver on to her. It is the pieces in those sets, the pieces on our tables, along with the pieces we find in the corners of the displays in antique stores that prompted me to start this blog. They are beautiful, they are odd, but what are they, and what in the hell do you do with them?

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Cake Saw

Now not to be confused with the cake knife or the wedding cake knife, the Cake Saw has a serrated side with long teeth. I never could find a reason one would need "long teeth" to cut a cake unless it was Aunt Maude's ungodly fruit cake that was more like a brick and everyone avoided it on the family buffet.(10 1/2 inches)

Lily of the Valley by Whiting (10 inches)
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Friday, December 4, 2009

Sardine Fork

Given that I have never served my guests sardines, I'm not sure I would have a use for a Sardine Fork, although I must admit it is an attractive piece. After some diligent searching I found a description of the need and use of this rather odd piece, and I quote, "The distribution of canned food forever changed cuisine in the U.S. The Midwest, for example, never received seafood until it got a shelf-life. Canned sardines were a huge hit in non-coastal areas and their novelty warranted a new utensil. Seven short tines were just right for stabbing the length of this long but little fish out of its oil." Further research shows perhaps they are more practical and for things other than sardines. They can be used for serving pickled vegetables, anchovies, and petits fours - now there's a variety for you.

Unlike most pieces that are simliar across sterling companies and patterns, this particular piece was all over the map. I found one by International with 6 tines, another with only 5 tines. Old master by Towle had a Sardine Server that was flat with no tines as did Grande Baroque- Continental by Wallace.

(Shown in Orange Blossom by Old Alvin 5 3/8 inches)

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Corn Butterer

Oddly enough, I could not find a description of a sterling Corn Butterer and never having had one at my plate when served corn, I had no personal experience. However after looking at it, I assume that one would put butter in it and then use it to rub on an ear of corn. Actually, it could come in as a handy piece, expensive, but handy.

(Shown here in Francis I by Reed and  Barton)

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Bonbon Spoon

Now the Bonbon Spoon may be a more familiar piece to some of us. However, were you aware that there are three types? - a Bonbon Scoop, a Bonbon Pierced Spoon, & the more popularBonbon Solid Spoon. The difference between the "scoop" and the "spoon" is that the "scoop" has a shell bowl, while the "spoon" has a rounded one. To complicate life, you can also have a Bonbon Nut Server and Bonbon Tongs. I think they carry this to the extreme but then the Victorian era did love their candies. And, for those curious sorts, Bonbons are candies rolled into balls usually made of chocolate. These silver pieces were designed to keep the chocolates from melting in their hands since they had no air conditioning (and M and Ms had yet to be invented)

(The pierced spoon shown is Buttercup by Gorham 4 5/8 inches)

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(The Solid Spoon shown in Repousse by Kirk  5 1/8 inches)

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(The Scoop shown in Landers No.2 by Baker Manchester 5 3/8 inches)

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Baked Potato Fork

Yes, there is one for the potatoes also. This piece, the Baked Potato Fork, is designed solely "for lifting and serving baked potatoes."

La Rocaille by Reed and Barton (9 inches)

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Butter Pick

You have two types of Butter Picks - your one tine and your two tines (both 5-6 inches). My research tells me that both are used with a piece called a butter pat. This utensil is used to lift the butter from the pat.

One Tine in Repousse by Stieff

Two Tine shown in Frontenac by International  (5 1/4 inches) 

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Butter Pat shown in Stieff Rose by Kirk Stieff   (3 1/8 inches in diameter)

Monday, November 30, 2009

Bone Holder

I would have guessed "some mid-evil tool of torture", but alas I would have been incorrect. When cutting (or attempting to cut) a piece of meat with a bone in the center, such as ham, the meat is pierced, this instrument (about 8 1/2 inches), a Bone Holder, is clamped around the bone and then the meat can be easily held in place while the server slices the meat with a knife. Keep this in mind, for the couple who has everything!

Old French by Gorham (8 1/2 inches)

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Sunday, November 29, 2009

Bird Fork

This piece, the Bird Fork, is used in addition to the Bird Knife, so if you find one, look for the other to make sure you get the set! I think it was designed to hold down game birds or other fowl (after they had been properly killed and prepared) to make cutting them (with your Bird knife) easier.

(Shown here in Chantilly by Gorham 6-7 inches)