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, July 1, 2013

Francis I by Reed and Barton

Ernest Myers designed Francis I for Reed and Barton who introduced it in 1907. It is a rich Renaissance- Baroque pattern of fruits and flowers. And, within the pattern itself, 15 different designs can be found on various pieces, making it a very elaborate pattern. It is said that Meyers used the work of Benvenuto Cellini, Court Artist of King Francis I of France for inspiration. The pieces themselves are heavy. The original pattern (referred to as the "Old" Version) introduced in 1907 has a Lion, an Eagle and the letter "R" stamped on the back of each piece.  A "Newer" version was released in 1950 that simply has "Reed and Barton" stamped on the back. To many people, this is the most ornate pattern still being made today.

Salad Serving Set (9 1/2 inches)

Fruit/Orange Spoon (5 7/8 inches)

Master Salt Spoon (3 5/8 inches)

Lemon Fork ( 4 7/8 inches)

Click to Enlarge


  1. Long before "Grande Baroque" began cutting into the ornate sterling flatware market, "Francis I" was king. It was in many ways the last of the art nouveau patterns. Ordinary folk had "Chantilly" or "Old Master;" but "Francis I" was for those who took it for granted that they were on top of the social pyramid. . . I remember one "grande dame" in my small southern town who counted every piece after her maid had washed it. When she found a fork missing, and accused her maid of taking it, the maid told her where she could put the rest of her "Francis I," and then quit on the spot..

  2. Yes, in my small town that was the case also. The pattern never did anything for me. Perhaps it was because of the haughty attitude of those I knew who had it!