Saturday, July 7, 2012

Three Months Til the Wedding - Let's Talk Silver!!!

Oh Boy - We've got less than Three Months to The Big Day!!!

The invitations have gone out, we've put a deposit on the flowers, the cake has been selected, and the food for the reception has been planned.

Now, what are we going to use to eat all this cool stuff?  I'm glad you asked!

First off, let me tell you that I have a shameful secret.

When we were stationed at FT Huachuca, I went to a tea at the General's house.  She had the most beautiful vintage silverplate cake forks...
And thus, an obsession was born.

It started simply.  (It had to - Sierra Vista AZ only had a couple of antique stores.)
I bought 6  vintage Reed and Barton round soup spoons, polished them to a mirror-like sheen, sighed happily and went to look for more...
It turns out that you can find vintage silver plate at antique stores, junk shops, thrift shops, yard sales.  Then I discovered eBay.  I apparently have a good eye.   And I never spent a lot of money on my habit. 

Bargains are part of the thrill of  the hunt.

I love my families' silver.  
After I married Larry, my mom gave he her silver tea set that my dad bought for her in Germany.  Then she gave me her mom's Lady Hamilton flatware set in the original chest.
My mother-in-law came to visit us in Maryland and casually handed Larry a ziplock bag full of silver.  He handed it to me and I nearly fainted when I realized that it was Margarets' sterling silver flatware from her wedding!!!  A couple of years later she gave us some of Great Aunt Nellie's set which amazingly, I had been picking up odds and ends of already.
And my grandmother had a silver-lidded vanity jar and matching silver mirror that always sat on her dresser.  My dad told me when I was in my 40's that they had originally been my mom's and that mom let me play with the mirror in the bathtub when I was a baby.  Granny was horrified and took them away from my mom and took them home with her!  He gave them to me at Christmas the next year and I treasure them.
I feel so close to my family when I am polishing these heirlooms.

So Mary and I sat down a couple of months ago and did a little inventory.
We started with her set called Meadowbrook.  My mom and I found a set of butter spreaders in this pattern the last time we ever went shopping together.  I'd been picking up the odd fork or spoon here and there until Mary said that it was her favorite pattern.  I went a little crazy.  Mary could almost open a restaurant....
We moved on to grandma's Lady Hamilton.  We had a reception for Shayne and Jess after they got married in Las Vegas.  I may have gone a little overboard in collecting this too...
Lady Hamilton
Which led us to the huge set of Ramona that I bought when I went to Bouchville the first time with my friend Sue.

And I fell in love with this pattern, Memory, and got lots and lots of it...

After going thru lots more patterns we stopped at two hundred and twenty 3 piece place settings....
that's not counting the cake forks or butter spreaders, or serving spoons and forks.  And that is without putting together odds and ends to make place settings or using the sterling or Great Aunt Nellie's' Distinction,
Great Aunt Nellie's Distinction

 or Shayne's First Love set,  which is the first pattern that I fell in love with.
First Love

Mary and I put the silver to be polished in plastic containers, and now I have my work cut out for me.

Who would think that there are nearly 1000 pieces of silverplate in those boxes???

And now you know my secret.

Mary was flabbergasted when she saw it all spread out.

No one in the family had any idea that I, like a magpie, had secreted so much of that pretty, shiny stuff.

Hey, some people collect shoes, purses, land, stocks and bonds.  

I like vintage silverplate.

Now, who wants to come and help polish???

1 comment:

  1. the secret secret: no one in this family knew it was a secret.