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, January 9, 2010

Cheese Cleaver

The Cheese Cleaver is designed to cut pieces of cheese from a large round or "chunk".

(Cheese Cleaver shown in Old Newbury by Towle 7 inches)

Friday, January 8, 2010

Terrapin Place Fork

Edwardian and Victorian menus often included terrapin dishes, which were seen as delacies. And, of course one needs special utensils to enjoy the meal.

(Shown in Georgian by Towle 5 1/4 inches)

(Shown in Versailles by Gorham  5 1/8 inches)

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Pea Server

I never could find any information on this piece but I think it speaks for itself. One uses it to serve peas and the holes or piercing drain the liquid. You can find this in many different patterns.

(Shown is Florentine by Alvin)

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Caviar Pieces

Caviar pieces in patterns vary greatly. There are forks, knives, and spoons. Some have horn, in some very rare cases ivory, but more popular mother of pearl bowls. The school of thought is that the metal bowls of the spoon will give the caviar an "off" flavor. However, since caviar is sometimes packed in metal tins, this cannot be true. It is the sterling that has certain properties that effect the taste of the delicacy. Therefore, most spoons in sterling patterns, if metal, will be gold gilt.

(Caviar Fork shown in Vine by Tiffany 6 inches)

(Caviar Knife in unknown Austrian pattern)

(Caviar Shovel in Acorn by Georg Jensen)

Click to Enlarge

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Ice Serving Pieces

Several pieces can be found dealing with serving ice.

This piece, the Ice Scoop, is available in most patterns today. Like in some other pieces beware of "Custom" pieces (in that they have been reworked by others and are not authentic pieces by the original manufacturer). You can check the list of all original pieces in a pattern to see what pieces were offered (at any time). They will (usually) include on the list discontinued pieces.

(Ice Scoop shown in French Regency by Wallace)

Ice Tongs are used for serving ice cubes and can be very ornate as shown here. They are still found in many patterns today.

(Ice Tongs Shown in Georgian by Towle)

My guess is that prior to the "scoop", the Ice Spoon with its pierced bowl, was used to serve ice. The pieces you can find are rare and in very old patterns.

(Ice Spoon shown in Francis I by Reed & Barton)


Monday, January 4, 2010

Toast Serving Fork

Once again the Victorians' germaphobe tendencies came out with this piece. They were concerned about someone "touching" their toast or rolls when being served. The answer - a silver Toast Serving Fork. One would use this to "stab" his bread from the basket then place it on his plate. (According to Amy Vanderbilt it is proper to eat your bread with your fingers, so I guess they just had to deal with that conundrum.)

Revere by International (7 3/8 inches)