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, February 6, 2010

Fish Serving Sets

The Fish Serving Sets are made up of two pieces, the Fish Serving Fork,used to carefully separate large pieces of fish as they are served, and the Fish Server, used to lift and serve fish onto the guest's plate.

These sets are prized and very expensive. They tend to be very ornate with the fork being short and wide and the server being flat with one side open to facilitate carefully serving delicate fish in one piece after it has been filleted at the table.

(Shown in unknown pattern by Shiebler)

(Shown in English King by Tiffany)

Friday, February 5, 2010

Pickle Pieces

Yes, we all love pickles. And how do we serve them? Long Handle Olive Fork and Long Handle Olive Spoon, both designed to serve olives from tall jars. The spoon is pierced to drain the juice from the olives. Piccalilli Fork and Piccalilli Spoon, used for serving vegetable relish or piccalilli. There are also the Pickle/Olive Fork, Short Handle and Long Handle Pickle Forks .

I have found some sources that say only Towle and Tiffany produced Piccalilli forks and spoons but there are many pieces identified as such in other patterns. Whether these pieces are mis-identified and confused with the many other pickle related pieces (as there are many) or other patterns do in fact have Picallilli pieces is up to the manufacturers to defend. I will only say they are lovely pieces but are all very difficult for the novice silver collector to distinguish.

(Piccalilli Spoon shown Duke of York by Whiting)

(Piccalilli Spoon shown in Marlborough by Reed and Barton)

(Three Tine Pickle Fork shown in Luxembourg by Gorham)

(Two Tine Pickle Fork shown in Chantilly by Gorham)


(Olive Fork shown in Ailanthus by Tiffany)

(Pickle Knives in English King by Tiffany)

(Pierced Olive Spoon by Buttercup by Gorham)

(Combination Olive Fork and Spoon shown in Persian by Tiffany)
Olive Combination Fork/spoon

(Castor Pickle Tongs shown in Persian by Tiffany)
Castor Pickle Tongs

(Long Handled Olive Fork shown in Persian by Tiffany)
Olive Fork Long Handle

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Large Claret Spoon

Claret Spoon for wine - right? Wrong. Our friendly Victorians soaked fruits and berries in alcohol kept in tall cut glass or silver pitchers. So how do you serve the fruit? - With a skinny, long handled spoon. (I don't have a clue where the name came from.) Today, this unique utensil is used with sangria and other fruit related drinks.

(Shown in English King by Tiffany)

Large Claret Spoon, Solid Piece in the English King (strl,1885,no Monograms) pattern by Tiffany & Co Silver

(Shown in Chrysanthemum by Tiffany 15 3/4 inches)

Large Claret Spoon, Solid Piece in the Chrysanthemum (strl,1880,nomono,m/t/c) pattern by Tiffany & Co Silver

(Shown in Renaissance by Dominick and Haff 15 inches)

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Pastry Tongs

Pastry Tongs are often confused with asparagus tongs. However, if you pay attention, you will notice that most asparagus tongs are much wider than pastry tongs. Also, many of the pastry tongs I have seen, have different shaped prongs, usually one is flat and one is fork-like shaped. They are easy to confuse. You do not find as many pastry tongs around as you do asparagus tongs.

(Shown in Cloeta by International 6 1/4 inches)

(Shown in Imperial Chrysanthemum by Gorham 6 1/2 inches)

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Individual Pie Fork

The Victorians loved their pies, both meat and fruit filled, therefore the Pie Fork was an important piece of the place setting. The distinguishing feature of the fork is the wider left cutting tine. You can find Pie Forks in two sizes, large and small. Sometimes the smaller ones are referred to as "Pickle Forks" in certain patterns. The larger forks range in size from 7 to 7 1/2 inches (approximately) and the smaller ones between 5 3/4 and 6 1/2 inches (approximately).

(Small Pie Fork shown in Persian by Tiffany 6 3/8 inches)

(Small Pie Fork shown in Renaissance by Dominick and Haff 6 inches)

(Small Pie Fork shown in Watteau by Durgin 5 5/8 inches)

(Small Pie Fork shown in Tulip by Fessenden 5 3/4 inches)

Monday, February 1, 2010

The St. Dunstan (Chased) by Gorham

From the August 1, 1923 Gorham Catalog, this pattern is described as, "As its name implies, the St. Dunstan is a pattern which, by its massive strength and virile outlines, recalls the handiwork of the silversmiths of olden times. In addition to these noble qualities, however, it is characterized by a refinement and delicacy of detail and finish which are only rendered possible by the ingenious appliances at the service of the modern silversmith."

The pattern was issued in 1917. The only source I could find said it was discontinued in 1991.

(Place Fork 7 3/8 inches)

P0000031444S1552T2.jpg (600×92)

(Orange Spoon 5 3/4)

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(Bon Bon Spoon 4 7/8 inches)

P0000031444S1523T2.jpg (600×257)

(Lemon Fork 5 5/8 inches)

P0000031444S1493T2.jpg (600×159)

(2 Piece Salad Set 8 3/4 inches)

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