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?

Monday, February 28, 2011

Du Barry by Durgin

Durgin introduced this pattern in 1901.

Cracker Server (9 1/2 inches)

Grapefruit Spoon

Gumbo Spoon (6 7/8 inches)
Gumbo Soup Spoon

Pierced Serving Spoon (8 1/2 inches)
Pierced Serving Spoon

Butter Spreader (5 1/2 inches)
FH Butter Spreader

Berry Spoon (9 3/4 inches)
Berry Spoon


  1. where did you find DURGIN pieces?!?


    This is a great web site to search for different patterns and pieces. I buy a lot of my silver from them also. I highly recommend them. Not only are they a great source of information, they offer great service as a retailer.

  3. But be careful!! The "pierced serving spoon" shown is NOT genuine. Oh, it is Durgin DuBarry in origin, but Antique Cupboard has taken a genuine clear soup (aka 'table') spoon, used a standard and inferior design cut out pattern to pierce the bowl, and voila, a "pierced serving spoon". There is no such animal in the DuBarry catalogue! Other than nut servers, bon-bons, and smaller pieces, the only pierced spoon was a pea server and large ice/nut server. To the serious collector of this pattern, that kind of "custom hand-crafting" is anathema! If you want a pierced server in this pattern, find the large ice/nut spoon; it is fantastic! Serving pieces (table pieces) were HUGE in this pattern. That is one of its glories.

  4. I have always said I was not an expert. If you have the DuBarry cataloque then I am sure you are correct about the pattern. HOWEVER, I have no evidence that Antique Cupboard made the change to the piece. It would be my guess that the piece (if altered) was done prior to their getting it. I see no reason for them to alter a piece, they are merely merchants. There are many "unique" and "special order" pieces which I have always assumed were altered along the way. DuBarry, like most Durgin patterns, does have glorious servings pieces.

  5. I am not an expert either, but I am an experienced collector. My comment was meant to be informational and cautionary to the unwary or novice collector. Antique Cupboard (advertising pieces as Custom Made) and Replacements, Ltd. (advertising as HC [hand crafted]) will both tell you plainly that they alter pieces. It is a common practice, and it is because they ARE merchants- 30 dozen teaspoons or dessert spoons languishing in inventory can perhaps move if turned into a pate server, or a mustard ladle, or a slotted spoon. If you need one, buy one, use it and enjoy it. But know what you are getting.

    Some, perhaps even many, ladies did indeed special order pieces outside their pattern (macaroni, anyone?), but in general this was not the case, and these antique special order pieces are EXTREMELY rare on the market and very valuable. Companies are glad to sell them to you at premium prices, and are happy to tell you that they are original special order. I have no axe to grind with either Antique Cupboard or Replacements, Ltd. Both are GREAT companies, with superb service. I use them both frequently, with gratitude. I do, however, think it important for people to know what is original and what is not. (They do, too, which is why they mark them as they do. Otherwise, a 'false advertising claim' could rightly be lodged.)

    I always encourage a new collector to spend time on the internet looking for a reproduction of the original, and subsequent, catalogues for their patterns. They are often available and are invaluable aids to the fun of collecting authentic pieces. As old patterns are re-issued today (e.g. Towle "Georgian", ca.1898, or especially Reed & Barton's "Francis I", ca. 1895) using worn moulds and light weight, it is important to have an example of the original crisp and heavy pieces, if only in a photo. You can still see the difference!

    Happy exploring, and isn't silver BEAUTIFUL!!!!