Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Born With A Silver Spoon

silverware, silverplate, spoons, knives, forks, collecting
Was I born with a silver spoon in my mouth?

Afraid not.

Though my grandfather was a jeweler and gave me - the first and only granddaughter - a child-sized Prelude silver place setting, a cup, a bowl, and a plate with my initials engraved on them.

They went in my mother's cedar chest, and there they have stayed for sixty years.

Lately I have been attracted to silver - the tarnished, well-worn kind.

I love the look of silverware in a glass jar with pearls and satin ribbons and old lace.

I did not really mean to start a collection of silverware.

Usually it is the engraved bowls and cups I want.

But I was at an estate sale where it was the last day and everything was marked 75% off.  

I heard a guy talking how he could take all the silverware and make money melting it down.


I quickly swooped in and pushed all of it into my huge canvas tote to save it before he got any more crazy ideas.

Look at the graceful beauty of iced tea spoons tied with vintage lace trim.

So now I am on a quest to save that old tarnished, well-worn silver and silverplate from the melting pot.

The tarnish makes such intricate designs on the silver bowls of these spoons.

Yes, I just lay them about for decoration.

Chucks did ask if we could use them.

Silly, silly boy - that is what those plastic forks in the cupboard are for!

After iced tea spoons, pickle forks are my favorites.

Served here on a rusty trowel - silver in a golden glow.

Baby spoon resting on The Christopher Robin Birthday Book.

Little Pink Boy is wondering how many shapes can butter knives be?

How much silver/silverplate have I saved for future generations of crafters everywhere?

Well, this is the load from last weekend.

And I have been hard at work for silver salvation for about a month.

Picking out my favorite pieces to keep.

Putting some at Riverfront Antique Mall in my booth.

Listing the rest on Etsy.

And none, Mr. Chucks, will be used for dinnerware in this house.  

It is stainless or plastic or nothing at all!

Take your pick.

The silver is for decorating.

See y'all!

Use this discount code to receive 10% off your purchase at the Distressed Donna Etsy store:



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  1. Way to go, Donna! Rarely do I see silverware or plated items up here. I think they're removed to the secret stash for well know grabbers. I've looked for items many times and found nothing. There are so many interesting things you can do with these gems. You always manage to hit the mother lode and that's a good thing.

  2. Hallelujah, sista. Save the silver! I have a drawer of silverware in my craft room that is available for when I want to use it in a project. I have stashes of it displayed throughout my house. But I also use it to eat with. I took my favorite pieces, in the best shape, and cast out from my home every piece of stainless. I love the casual look of the mix&match beauties.

  3. I just love old silverware. They certainly don't make it like they used to. The older ones have such pretty designs. I rarely pass them up at garage sales or thrift stores. Love yours!


  4. Yay Donna! Silverware is one of my favourite things to use in projects but I also just love the way it looks... and the more tarnished and aged the better. Also love teapots, trays, anything silver really. Melted down??? Can't believe someone would even think such a thing. I would have scooped them up too.I find most of mine at garage sales so I can't wait until the warmer weather.

  5. I found out they melted silverware down to and made me so sad. I never get to rescue it either. I'd buy it if I saw them though! You know whats weird? I read you too, for awhile now but do I ever comment, no. I don't even know why.

  6. I love your silverware collection, so beautiful! The tarnish is just the way I like it!

    Gigi @ Old World Patina

  7. I love old silver! Be it jewelry, jugs or cutlery. I used to pack it away and use it only on special occasions, but I decided life is too short to not enjoy your valuables. Now I use them everyday and it gives me great joy. It does sadden me to see how many beautiful pieces are melted down. All that exquisite craftsmanship being destroyed! Good on you for saving the silver!

    Tania at FARRAGOZ

  8. The lady I have been sitting for keeps her silver in her kitchen drawer and uses it everyday. I'm like what??? We can't use this. Says, "Why not?" The good stuff is locked up. Good stuff? I'd like to see the good stuff. I bet Ms. Foo Foo has a gold mine hidden away.

  9. I'm with you, Donna. Your tarnished silver pieces are just gorgeous! Let's keep saving the world one silver spoon at a time!

  10. I have the hardest time finding silverware. I have been wanting to try making jewelry with some but never come across any pretty pieces that aren't costly! I'm going to keep looking though. Good for you rescuing them from the guy who wanted to melt them down! :) Have a blessed Thursday.....Vicky

  11. I enjoyed your commentary as much as I enjoyed seeing your collection. You had me smiling. I love the ways you've used to decorate with your found pieces. laurie

  12. Somewhere I have a set of silver teaspoons that belonged to my grandmother. Thanks for this lovely post, I'm going to get them out and put them on display.

  13. Cute post.
    I love vintage silver! I've been collecting for a while. It all started with vintage rose patterned china.
    Last fall I found a whole box of assorted vintage silverware at the Goodwill. It was a wonderful find. Most will be used for decorating but I've reserved a few pieces to make chimes (tea pot chimes) this spring.
    Hope you will pop over for a visit.
    Will visit again soon.

  14. You are indeed the Savior of Silver! Your pics and displays are so pretty! Now..go save that silver out of your mothers cedar chest!!!!

  15. I do the same! I'm just so afraid people are going to melt it that if I find some at a good price, I buy it... Like you, I didn't mean to have a collection, but I have more forks than I'll ever have guests!

  16. I love the silver I inherited, but keep it in a box so it won't tarnish. We do pull it out and use it though. If I could find some at a thrift store, I would do just what you do. It looks beautiful!

  17. Fabulous collection, I love the tarnish too. Perfect. Thanks tons for linking to Inspire Me. Hugs, Marty

  18. Love that collection. Read about the silver thief in Garden & Gun mag this month. He has stolen the Souths history (melted it all). As far as I am concerned he should be shot.

  19. Do you still have your little silver place setting? I wanna see it! I also decorate with tarnished silver - LOVE IT! Thanks for sharing at Revisionary Life!

  20. Such a nice collection, old silver is so pretty!
    Thanks so much for sharing at Amaze Me Monday...

  21. Great blog! Most antique solid silver spoons were made in sets that had a unique style; this helped to create a sense of unity for the collection. If you are still unsure of the authenticity of a spoon, take it or a picture of it, along with all measurements, weight and hallmark descriptions to an appraiser for a professional opinion. Check more collections of silver tableware.


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