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 16, 2010

Poultry Shears

Instead of having the servants cut the poultry in the kitchen prior to bringing it into the dining room to serve your guests, sterling silver Poultry Shears allowed hostesses to have their guests served their poultry warm at the table with style. These shears were used to quickly cut up the poultry into serving size pieces.

(Shown in Rose Pattern by S. Kirk & Son  10 1/8)

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(Shown in Repousse by Kirk & Sons 10 1/8  inches)

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Friday, January 15, 2010

Salad Serving Pieces

Once again the Victorians always happy to have another piece of sterling. The Lettuce Fork (approx 7 1/2 inches) was designed as a piece of flatware to go with a 5 piece place setting, used to eat a lettuce salad (a new favorite of the time). Although you can find old pieces in today's patterns, I could not find a pattern that still made them.

(Lettuce Fork shown in Monticello by Lunt)

A more standard salad serving piece is the Salad Serving Set consisting of a large fork and spoon. These are still found in most patterns. Although the pieces in the antique patterns tend to be more ornate.

(Salad Serving Set in Etruscan by Gorham)

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Thursday, January 14, 2010

What Size is it?

Is it Lunch, Dinner, Place or perhaps Grille? Confused? Many are. When patterns were introduced there were two sizes of the standard knife and fork, a luncheon size and a dinner size. The "Luncheon" being smaller for the breakfast and lunch meals. The larger "Dinner" being used for the dinner or more formal meal. In the 1940's a few manufactures produced a "Grille" size, which had an elongated handle and shorter knife blade and fork tines. (An example of this is Stateley by State House.)

Then in the late 50's, early 60's, manufactor's started producing a "Place" size which was larger than the luncheon size but smaller than the dinner size. Some just renamed their luncheon size fork, made some minor changes to their luncheon size knife, and called both their "Place" size.

Here is the "rule" of thumb to go by:

A luncheon fork is between 6 7/8 and 7 1/4 inches
A place fork is between 7 1/4 and 7 3/8 inches
A dinner fork is between 7 1/2 and 8 inches

A luncheon knife is between 8 3/4 and 9 inches
A place knife is between 9 1/8 and 9 1/4 inches
A dinner knife is between 9 5/8 and 10 inches

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Pudding Spoon

Not designed for Jello type creamy pudding, the silver Pudding Spoon was designed to serve the Victorian pudding dish which was a vegetable or corn dish. This would often have a crust and the point on the end of the spoon could pierce the crust. An old piece that is not often found

(Shown in Landers No.2 by Baker Manchester 7 1/2 inches)

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(Shown in Georgian by Towle 9 1/8  inches)

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Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Dessert Place Pieces

The Dessert Fork is placed above the plate or charger at the meal for the dessert following the meal. The Desert Fork is shorter and wider than a regular place fork in a place setting.

(Dessert Fork in Hyperion by Whiting 6 1/4 inches)

(Dessert Knife shown in Federal Cotillion by Frank Smith 8 1/8 inches)


After a pastry is served to you with a pastry server, you are to eat the pastry with a Pastry Fork . However, it is easier to eat a Danish or Cinnamon Roll with a Fruit Fork (fun facts to know and tell). A Pastry Fork is usually a bit smaller fork than a desert fork.

(Pastry Fork shown in Mazarin by Dominick and Haff 6  inches)

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Monday, January 11, 2010

Ice Cream Things

Ice Cream, being a very popular Victorian desert deserved all the appropriate utensils. One has the Ice Cream Fork, Ice Cream Spoon, Ruffled Sherbet Spoon, Sherbet Spoon, and Sherbet Fork,

Ice Cream Forks were the first "sporks" having a bowl shape like a spoon with short tines attached to the end.

(Ice Cream Fork shown in Buttercup by Gorham (5 1/4 inches))

(Ice Cream Forks shown in Puritan by Gorham (5 1/2 inches))


(Ice Cream Spoon shown in Majestic by Alvin 5 1/2 inches)

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(Ruffled Sherbet Spoon shown in Chrysanthemum by Tiffany (5 3/8 inches))

(Sherbet Spoons shown in Baltimore Rose by Schofield (5 7/8 inches))

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(Sherbet Fork shown in Mary Chilton by Towle (4 3/4 inches))
 Differ from Ice Cream forks in that the tines or connected.

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