Category Archives: Silver

Eureka!

Several years ago, (prior to 2008) I went shopping along Denver’s Antique Row and bought several little silver spoons for $10 each. I was stunned a few years later to find out that many of those spoons had greatly appreciated, following the recession. Among my find was a Whiting Louis XV (a favorite pattern), a rare Louis XIV by Gorham, and one mystery spoon by Gorham. For years, I searched books and websites trying to find the name of the pretty pattern with climbing roses.

This morning, on a whim, I decided to search using the patent date of 1910. Eureka! The pattern is Montclair and it seems to be a rarity, selling for $45 and up on eBay. Score! 🙂

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Gravy Boats

I spent a rocking Saturday evening researching gravy boats this weekend. (Do I know how to live it up or what?) I already had this silver plate boat from Mama Chris, but the plate was starting to wear and I worried that the exposed copper would be unhealthy.

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I have this tiny sterling one, but it gets emptied very quickly at the table.

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I also have this teapot from Mama Chris in Hall’s Autumn Leaf pattern that could be used as a gravy boat, but it still strikes me as very 1960s. Maybe I’ll grow into it.

AutumnLeaf

So last night, I narrowed my choices down to Haviland’s Blue Garland (which matches one of my china sets)…

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…this vintage pewter boat from Etsy…

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…this silver-plated boat in Georgian from Reed & Barton…

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…this lovely boat in Noritake’s Allure pattern (Etsy)…

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…and this white gravy boat with teal flowers from Johnson Bros. (Etsy).

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The one I really wanted was Spode’s Woodland gravy boat with the turkey, but at $113, it was far more than I really wanted to spend.

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I loved the brown transferware, however, and thought about how nice it would look on a Thanksgiving table. Which got me to thinking…didn’t I already have a small brown transferware soup tureen than could stand in as a gravy boat?

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Voila! No shopping necessary 🙂

Summer Morning Light

Just a few shots from earlier today as I enjoyed how seashells, sterling silver, and pearls glowed in the bright June morning light. We have a lovely day planned ahead. Enjoy your Saturday!

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blueberries

Papa Ross’ Mint Juleps

barDerby Day is always a little bittersweet for me, as the last conversation I ever had with my Grandfather Ross involved his giving me his mint julep recipe. I do like that it gives me an annual reason to toast him, however!

Ingredients:

  • the smoothest Kentucky bourbon you can find (I prefer Blanton’s)
  • fresh mint leaves
  • sugar
  • water
  • crushed ice
  1. Boil a desired amount of sugar into a pot of water, then cool in the refrigerator. (I don’t have much of a sweet tooth, so my sugar water is rather weak.)
  2. Crush half of the mint leaves and rub them in the inside of the glass (which is preferably a sterling julep cup). Discard the leaves.
  3. Combine the sugar water and bourbon to taste over crushed ice. Garnish with a sprig of mint.
Wishing everyone a safe and joyful Derby Day!

One-Year Blogiversary

One year ago today, I started this blog. I had just fulfilled an ages-old wish of having sterling silver and I wanted to connect with others who also found silver, linen, and china interesting. (Please pardon my wrinkled napkin in the photo. A working girl only has so much time for ironing.)

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(Grande Renaissance by Reed & Barton)

What I have found most thrilling in this past year are the many personal connections I’ve made in the blogosphere. I am also astounded at how much I’ve learned! A visit to Paris, reading many wonderful blogs and books, and studying designers’ Pinterest boards has so much broadened my understanding of the history of design and the details that deem an item “quality.” The vocabulary alone fascinates me: Rococo, bergĂ©re, 925/1000, Irish linen…all terms or concepts that were foreign to me just a short time ago.

One downside of learning about the history of American silver has been coming to the realization that this is a seemingly dying industry. I visited Reed & Barton’s factory in Taunton, MA this year, only to find that much of it was abandoned. As with Gorham, International, Wallace, Towle, and other silver companies, much of the business has moved to Asia. They also seem to be downsizing or being bought out by large companies such as Lifetime Brands. R&B discontinued many of their patterns in 2011, including the one I had just purchased! While I knew on a conceptual level that many of America’s historic industries had moved overseas, this was the first time I had a personal connection to the trend.

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reedbarton

So, while all of what I have learned isn’t rosy, I am grateful for this most unexpected journey that is a very separate world from my professional life. Here’s to another year of reading, writing, and learning!

Ready for Christmas Eve!

We spent the day cleaning and running last minute errands. After hours of scrubbing, dusting, and polishing, however, came my favorite part of getting ready for entertaining where I arranged flowers, set the table, made the centerpiece, etc.

Sticking with my blue and white theme from Thanksgiving, the centerpiece is a silver platter with blue tulle, white roses & juniper in blue bud vases or silver shot glasses, blue/white/silver ornaments, and my three sterling silver snowflakes.

centerpiece

We moved my newly painted desk into the main room to serve as a cocktail table.

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I am so thankful this year for good health, a wonderful husband, my career, friends & family, and my home!

table

This is probably my last post before Christmas. Wishing everyone a joyous holiday!

Happy Thanksgiving!

I’m spending the day doing prep work for Thanksgiving: cleaning the apartment, washing linens, arranging fresh flowers. After weeks of spray-painting pumpkins, buying & engraving napkin rings, and shopping for candles, chargers, & linens, the table is finally ready. As I’m setting all of this up, kitty and I have the window open to enjoy this unseasonably warm day.

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I am so very thankful for my health, husband, family, friends, career, kitty, and the life that we live here in Denver. I had no idea how amazing this journey would be when I set out in the summer of 1998 to seek my dreams. I love that this holiday reminds us to stop for a second and be thankful for this moment in our lives. It reminds me of one of my favorite quotes:

“Now and then it’s good to pause in our pursuit of happiness and just be happy.”

– Guillaume Apollinaire

Wishing all of you a very lovely holiday!