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?
In the late 19th century grand garden parties were the rage for the well to do, especially on the lawns of the grand homes at Newport. The hostesses of these affairs were always sure to serve cold dishes to their guests. On the menu were cold meats, pate de foie gras, cold fishes (such as salmon), and other delicacies of the times. To serve these delights, there were sterling pieces such as the Pate Knife and Pate Spreader.
The knives actually have a scooped end with a flared blades which makes them quite attractive. Both the spreaders and the knives can be very practical pieces for the modern day hostess, even on the days she is not hosting the grand garden party with foie gras.
Lifetime Sterling describes this pattern: "For a dramatic statement, this glamorous pattern brings three-dimensional opulence to your table. Introduced in 1964, the finely tooled design incorporates deeply carved borders with lavish scrollwork enhanced by intermittent floral details and a striking rosette crowning the neck. Significant weight and uncompromising craftsmanship lend a luxurious note to traditional and formal settings to wow your guests and provide the ultimate finishing touch to all of your meals."
To me, this is an example of a modern pattern trying to imitate one of the older finely designed intricate patterns and it just doesn't work. To me, it just looks "new". It is still an attractive sterling pattern, but a newer one.