Thanksgiving: Setting the Table in Silver

Thanksgiving is the holiday where I have a chance to pull out all my fancy pieces. Including our collection of silver. Silver is an interesting study in design and functionality. One of my favorite pieces is the Victorian Ice Cream fork, or as we know it, a spork. That’s right, we can’t credit Taco Bell with this lovely design piece, but those witty Victorians. If anyone is interested, I would like a set of these for my birthday. They are even engraved with the correct letter! I get very design-nerdy when it comes to silver and hope to bump into my favorite Victorian designers, Christopher Dresser, at a yard sale, perhaps next time I travel to Europe. Maybe I will spot his 1881 toast rack. Just what I need, a toast rack!

Thanksgiving also means polishing over 100 pieces of silver, but I only do it once a year, so I can’t complain. It allows me to spend time with my Grandma Orvis, her mother, my Grandma Dewe and William’s Grandma Brinson. I think about them and what their life was like while they polished this same silver. Some of the pieces are many generations old and women in those days often valued silver because it was a sign of status. I pick up tiny pieces here and there at antique stores and yard sales. My mom has also given us little sets she find engraved with the letter ‘B’.

Collectively silver tells us about history and family. Do you set your table with silver? Which pieces are your favorite?

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October 24, 2010

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