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Items like this are part of our American culture. You might, for example, be attracted to the art deco style of furnishing. It’s possible to find silverware manufactured during the 1920s through the early 1930s to complement your taste. Collecting can get pretty specific, narrowing in on a certain period, style, color (in the case of chinaware or ceramics), or it can be quite general.
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Often, the longer a collector collects, the -more specific and refined the collection becomes.
Sources for Old Silverware
Silverware such as this is not all that hard to find. It crops up routinely at flea markets, yard sales, thrift shops, and antique stores. These pieces are relatively inexpensive, averaging between $3 and $10, depending on the design or where it’s from.
I once found a set of silver-plated forks in an antique shop in Arizona. I was attracted to their hefty size and the deep engraved symbol on each handle. They are rugged and good-looking and we use them all the time.
Many shops now carry reproductions of early silverware that’s just as good looking as the real thing.
It Doesn’t Have to Match
Those who collect silverware say it doesn’t have to match. It’s wonderful if you come upon a complete set from one source, as a gentleman I met did at the marketplace in Provence. However, mixing and matching can make your table all the more interesting, as will other assorted items like creamers, pitchers, and teapots or coffeepots.
While I don’t serve tea or coffee from the art deco coffeepot and teapot I inherited from my grandmother, I use both these servers for holding flowers. The pitcher and creamer have become lovely desk accessories for holding pens and pencils as well as bunches of summer roses. There is something quite lovely about a bouquet of roses in an elaborately etched silver teapot.
A Lucky Find
If you haven’t given vintage silverware a thought, you might do so if you happen to stumble on a carton of odds and ends at a rummage sale.
Don’t be too quick to pass it by. Rummage a bit. You might find the beginning of a collection.
If you’re lucky enough to find something rare, it could be the start of a meaningful love affair.