Now that I have welcomed everyone to my new blog and have shown pictures of some of my family members (Obsession #1), it is time to start confessing about my other obsessions. Today, I am sharing my love of silver. My mother was not at all impressed with silver. She thought that it was too expensive and too much trouble to clean. I think my interest started at a very young age, when I lived next door to the family of the former Governor of Georgia, Joseph Meriwether Terrell (1861-1912). You can read more about Governor Terrell here: http://www.georgiaencyclopedia.org/nge/Article.jsp?id=h-2139.
The former Terrell home in Greenville, Georgia
The Terrell’s dining room was full of wonderful things and one was the sterling silver tea service that was given to Governor Terrell, when he left office. Eventually, this tea service made its way on loan to the Governor’s Mansion in Atlanta. However, when I visited our former First Lady, Mary Perdue, at the mansion, I asked about the tea service and no one could tell me where it is located. I am not sure, if it is still there in storage or some of the family members requested that it be returned. I did find a photo of a gorgeous piece of silver that Governor Terrell gave to President Theodore Roosevelt in 1907. You can get an idea of the quality of the tea service from the photo below.
This Gorham punch bowl is in the entrance hall of the mansion. How can anyone not “swoon”, when viewing a piece of silver this gorgeous???
The history of silver is ever fascinating to me. I love to discover who designed my pieces and love to study the artistic periods in which they were made. The horrible truth is that when silver prices rise, there are those who want to melt these old pieces that can never be replicated. My daughter wrote a post about this in Tablescape Times Three that you can read about here:http://tablescapex3.blogspot.com/2011/03/save-silver.html.
My grandmother did have several silverplate patterns, which I was lucky enough to be given by one of my aunts. I still use the pieces today. I think that I was the only grandchild (out of many) who ever noticed the flatware pieces and commented on how beautiful they were.
As for my mother’s concerns with cleaning silver, I think in a former life, I was a maid whose job it was to clean the family silver. I love it! It is such a worthwhile task – how silver shines with that stunning patina, after it is polished! I have never found another “cleaning” job in my house that is so rewarding.
When I married, I could not wait to choose my sterling flatware pattern. Most of the woman my age either chose “Chantilly” or “Strasbourg” by Gorham. I did not realize that at the time, but I fell in love with “Strasbourg” and still love it today.
A 1976 Gorham advertising pamphlet showing "Strasbourg" on the cover and suggestions for pairings with china and crystal inside.
Through the years, I have been collecting other patterns. Most are discontinued and have to be “collected”, as pieces turn up on eBay, Etsy, or other online shopping jewels, like Replacements. These other patterns will be appearing my some of my future blogs.
I, actually, have pieces in at least ten patterns. I did have eleven, but recently gave my oldest granddaughter the only piece that I had in Durgin’s "Empire" pattern. She has always loved the beautiful little pierced olive spoon and by giving it away, it has kept me from wanting to add to that pattern (except for her, of course!).
However, I do have my eye on two more old patterns. Yikes! I cannot believe that I just wrote that. This crazy obsession continues…
P. S. I would love to read about your obsessions!