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?
And, you thought waffles just came out of the toaster and you threw them on the plate. Oh, no,no! The proper lady would serve her waffles (or have them served) with a sterling silver Waffle Server. If your mother did not use one, I share your pain. Time and therapy will help us overcome this issue of our childhood.
There are several Holiday pieces around. Here are a few sample. I am sure there are more. Then Tiffany has their own holiday sterling pattern - Holly which was introduced in 1895 and has since been discontinued.
And, I bet you thought that there was just the Gravy Ladle. OK, maybe you are smugly saying that you have a Sauce Ladle (well so do I). But, do you have a Cream Ladle, Soup Ladle, Punch Ladle, Mayonnaise, Mustard, Oyster, Honey, Toddy, Claret, or Bouillon Ladle. And, did you know that they come in different sizes.
Don't forget the Boiled Potato Ladle (I kid you not). This piece has spouts on either side of the deep bowl so when you scoop your boiled potato from the water, the water will drain off. I guess for those of you who cook boiled potatoes, this could be useful.
There are also Terrapin, Pea, and Champagne ladles
Bouillon Ladle shown in Georgian by Towle (7 3/4 inches)
Mustard Ladle shown in Old Master by Towle (Approx 4 1/2 inches)
Cream Sauce Ladle shown in Francis I by Reed and Barton
Gravy Ladle in shown Chantilly by Gorham (6 7/8 inches)
Punch Ladle shown in Eton by Wallace (13 1/2 inches)
Toddy Ladle shown in Japanese by Tiffany (7 1/4 inches)
Well, let's see here, we have the Bouillon Soup, the Round Bowl Cream Soup, the Gumbo Soup, the Place Oval Soup, and the Desert Oval Soup. If there are more, spare me. The Bouillon spoon is smaller to fit the thinner broth. Cream soup spoons are larger than bouillon but smaller than gumbo and have round shallow bowls. These spoons are all round while the other two are oval in shape.
(Boullion Soup spoon shown in Buttercup by Gorham)
(The Gumbo Soup spoon shown in Louis XV by Whiting)
Serving creme brulee,? Then for correct service and presentation you will need to use Ramekin Forks. These pieces are smaller than salad forks. Some have a bowl like shape design. The purpose is to fit into the small individual dishes that custards such as creme brulee are baked and presented.
You will find old Ramekin forks in many patterns. You can check the list of all pieces in a pattern to see if any given piece was offered (at any time). They will (usually) include on the list discontinued pieces.
First, for those not familiar, chipped beef is thinly sliced smoked cured beef. So, naturally, we need a Chipped Beef Fork to serve it. Personally, I still use Chipped Beef in a recipe, but I skimp and use a regular "place" fork to handle it. The pieces can be very ornate and lovely. They are small, approximately 6 3/4 inches.