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Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Silver Kvells, Silver Kvells . . . .

-- from the Yiddish, to gush with pride; usually reserved for proud grandparents when new babies are placed in their arms, as in, "Oy, I'm kvelling!"


A couple of epiphanies today: One, that it is only 9 days -- and counting! -- till Thanksgiving and Two, that is is very hard to photograph silver well, and even harder to do so in sunlight.

I was poking around in my bits of old silverplate flatware, making sure I have enough so that everyone who wants a fork gets a fork at the Thanksgiving table. Dion says he's okay without a fork, but that's just one among more than two dozen gathered for the feast.

It occurred to me that I am going to have to polish these bad boys before T-day. They are just too tarnished to use for putting food into mouths. I don't know about you,
but I always think I can taste tarnish if it's on an eating utensil.

It's not a pleasant condiment.

So it looks as if I'm going to have a date with Wright's Silver Cream in the next few days.
I'll have to figure out a good reward for myself for that chore.
And don't say my reward will be nice gleaming silverware; I stopped falling for that one when I was 12.

Today, I'm kvelling over my old serving pieces that will be called into duty next week.
I know a lot of you also love vintage silver, so here they are.

First, a charming and surprisingly weighty ladle that just arrived in the mail yesterday.
Pardon the sun reflections.

It's a Reed & Barton Tiger Lily pattern silverplate piece, from the early 1900s. This pattern morphed mid-century in Festivity, but this piece is from the old school, and I love it. It's got a gorgeous monogram. Not our initial, but so what?

Our initial is "L" and it's on the next serving pieces -- a tablespoon and a meat fork also from the early 1900s. Can you see the ridges in the business part of the fork? They give the piece so much life and sparkle.

This is Community Plate's Georgian pattern, also very heavy and in really excellent condition given it's almost a century old. This old plate lasts and is so much nicer that most of what is available today in silver plate.

I have a lot of this Georgian pattern, including a dozen or so of the big spoons; they were used for soup 'way back when, but are more the size of our serving spoons now. Here's a darling little berry spoon:

Also ridged. It will dish up homemade cranberry sauce.

Just a wee bit younger is this Art Nouveau pattern meat fork that has seen some hard use:

He's an old fella, and it shows.
I wonder if someone buffed off a monogram on the handle?

He's still got lovely lines, though. He'll get a very gentle cleaning!

Another ladle, this one also a bit worn and showing her age:

Why do I think the spoons and ladles are female, and the forks and knives are male?
Don't answer, I think I can figure this one out all by myself.
Paging Dr. Freud, paging Dr. Freud. . . .

She, too, will be cleaned very gently:

Do you buy things for odd reasons sometimes?

Take these next spoons, almost 9-inches long:

These are the Rogers Blenheim pattern, from the late 1800s.
I have never seen any knives offered in this pattern; I think they are old enough that the manufacturers
back then only made forks and spoons and serving pieces,
and knives were made by other companies and purchased separately.

Blenheim is an ornate pattern, but I bought my first few teaspoons because of its name.
Our Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, Dion, is brown and white, which is known as the Blenheim color in Cavaliers. But it turned out that I loved the pattern, and occasionally do an Ebay search for it.

In fact, I'm waiting for delivery of a couple of forks, and spoons. These will be my first forks.

Here's the bowl of a small Blenheim spoon, 6-inches long.
Lovely detail. It, too, will serve cranberry sauce.

Most of my pieces are plated; old plated pieces are inexpensive to buy, and some of the patterns are just charming. I do have some sterling, though, including this lovely and large vintage serving spoon:

Look at those curves!

That was a gift from my mother-in-law.
It will serve the mashed potatoes; it does so every year.

And, finally, a cheese plane -- a modern blade on a vintage sterling handle.

My family is Norwegian; cheese is definitely on the befores table at every gathering.

This pretty piece will probably slice the Nokkelost!

********************* It's Party Time! *********************

Thanks to Tam at The Gypsy's Corner for hosting Three Or More Tuesday!

And thanks to Roomies blog for hosting Past Due Tuesday!

Now go visit; I know I will.


Your moment of Peace . . . sun pouring through our dining room bay windows this afternoon:

This is why I pray fervently for a cloudy Thanksgiving! That sun shines a spotlight on any bit of dust or schmutz left behind after the pre-party cleaning.

Strong sunlight? Heck, I don't want to see myself in it! -- Cass


  1. Such a cute post!!!

    I have three sets of silver from my grandmothers....and they are in dire need of polishing. Winter is coming - maybe then. I rarely use but can't part with them either.

    Thanks for bringing a smile to my face today!

  2. Wonderful post. I am in the middle of polishing anything and everything that is silver or plated in my house. I finally got smart and bought plastic gloves! I think when I polish I really work up a relationship with the pieces, sort of like how you have a gender relationship with yours...That is when I notice all the intricate details, monograms, curves. And I do find it relaxing.

    I enjoyed seeing all of your serving piices~ just what I need. I am new to Ebay but would love to take a look before Christmas.

    2 dozen guests?? How many turkeys do you have to make? ;-)

    Have a happy week, Cass!


  3. Now precious, here in the south we would already have story about some great aunt who left us her monogrammed silver and linens. Many of our silver pieces and linens have a different monogram on them down here because they have in fact been passed down. So no one ever knows the difference. I was polishing silver last week for a party and I still have many pieces to go before Thanksgiving! This was super fun and I adored looking at all your beautiful pieces. *Especially the ones from your great great aunt. Perhaps she lived here in Alabama!

  4. Hi Cass! Oh, I just love all your silver pieces! You have some lovely ones with all the swirls and curls! :)
    I agree - spoons are female, knives and forks are male!
    Be a sweetie,
    Shelia ;)

  5. Lovely. I thought we were the only ones who liked the old mismatched plate. Are your Blenheim plate and puppies any connection with Blenheim Palace?
    As for your reward, are there any more of those cookies you made the other day?

  6. Oh, Cass! I LOVE all your silverware! Its just gorgeous! I also love monogrammed pieces. Did you read my story about "Grace" on my blog? Search Grace for my silverware story. And it's a story, let me tell ya!
    And that last pic...with the sunlight- beautiful!

  7. I recently bought some serving spoons from an antique store and my 22 year old son won't eat anything that they touch. It just grosses him out that they belonged to someone else.
    What can I do with that?
    Yours are so nice. I can't pick a favorite though.

  8. I'm with you in spirit but I don't envy you.!!


  9. I LOVE your punny title - - - but now, miss Punn Queen, please tell me how kvell is PRONOUNCED!!!

    Is the K silent? Is the v silent? Or do the k and v together make a "kuhv" sound - - - or is the whole thing pronounced "pink" or something totally unrelated????

  10. Hi Cass,
    I just love your silver and the photography...beautiful.
    That is something I do not have...old silverware...hmmm...another thing I'll have to keep my eyes open for...:)
    To answer your question...the corner bench in our game area used to be in our kitchen and I bought it a few years back from Ballard was a splurge but I fell in love with it. They still carry it and you can pick the fabric you like to have it upholstered with. It also has great storage in the two straight benches.
    Have a wonderful evening,

  11. You have some lovely silverware, and I think that having the mis-matched ones are more enchanting than one full set. That way they all have different stories behind them.
    Here's hoping you have a wonderful Thanksgiving!

  12. I do love old silver and collect it when I can. Wright's is the BEST silver polish and the only one that you should use on good silver.
    I agree that there is a taste when a fork or spoon is tarnished and they don't look half as beautiful if they are not cleaned. A little elbow grease never hurt anyone.
    Lovely collection....

  13. What lovely wares you have, my dear! Love all the ornate-ness of them--they are like jewels!! I would be proud to serve up potatoes with that loveknot pattern spoon! Thanks for participating in PDT!

  14. Hi Cass....great stuff you got there...You need to do what Martha Stewart does when she finds linens and silver with initials that aren't hers....she tells people that a rich relative left it to her in their daughter has started using that line....The three of you are from Jersey you can get away with lines like that!

  15. Cass, you have some beautiful silver pieces...have fun polishing!

  16. What lovely pieces. I too am polishing my silver for the big day - but I use toothpaste instead of the silver polish - works just as well - and cheap toothpaste is as good as expensive - and my hands smell much nicer.

    Happy serving!

  17. Hi Cass. Thank you for sweet comment on my post tonight. I so love silver, and this is actually my first purchase. I want to add the flatware, sugar cube tongs, and on and on and on..... Oh, I thought the fork was the mom because she takes care of business, the knife was the dad because he conquers the world, and all the spoons were the kiddies, who are safe and have chubby cheeks.

  18. So many pretty patterns. I would hate the job polishing them. Good luck and Have fun.

  19. Hi, Thanks for stopping by. The color of the table is Cottonwood white. It's almost an almond color. It's walmarts brand paint and I love it.

  20. Hi Cass...

    What a fabulous post, my friend! Loved seeing all of your beautiful old silver! I think my favorite piece is your Blenheim spoon, ornate and frenchy!!! Thank you for sharing all of your pretties with us! Sounds like you're going to have a crew for Thanksgiving....hmmm, think we talked about that before! Hehe! My friend, your sunroom is gorgeous...your Thanksgiving festivites will be so pleasurable there!!!

    Warmest wishes,
    Chari @Happy To Design

  21. I so enjoyed seeing and reading about your gorgeous silverware.
    Have a wonderful Thanksgiving.

  22. Hi Cass!

    Okay, is there someting seriously wrong with me since I seem to drool all over the photos of your fabulous flatware? I just love them all!

    I was so excited to get my first old set of silver seafood forks a few weeks ago at huge flew market/antique show. I kept bugging my hubby saying, "Did you see the forks I got?" "don't ya love the forks I got?" LOL

    Hope you have a wonderful day!

    P.S. I still think your home is the most beautiful home in the blogoshere! LOL I see all these stunning homes and I still think yours is THE most stunning. Just from your header picture, your home looks loved and a happy place!

  23. Cass!!! I feel like I've just had my SILVER FIX!!!! thank You! Fabulous pieces...Great post, xoxo~Kathy @ Sweet Up-North Mornings...

  24. So many pretty pieces of silver - thanks for sharing them with us. I love the old ornate silver, but don't want to polish it. Dion is probably hoping a few morsels will be dropped. :)

  25. I just have to say- your house is BEAUTIFUL!! I love it.

  26. Polishing silver is not my idea of fun - mainly the odor of the polish. It always smells like I've let eggs rot in my fridge. It's on my weekend list of things to do. You have such beautiful pieces - so much character in these older pieces. laurie

  27. Oooo, I am DROOLING!!!!! Gorgeous! Can't wait to see your soapstone counters. ;)


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