Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Silver Plate Savoir Faire

When one went behind the scenes of any hotel or restaurant up until the early 60’s you were usually met with row upon row of a plethora of silver plate! From cutlery, ice buckets, coffee and tea pots, creamers, coupes etc etc. Before stainless steel became popular silver plate was it! If you were in the better hotels, it was invariably produced by one of the better firms, such as Mappin & Webb of England or Christofle of France, all with the name or crest of Hotel on it.

I have been collecting bits and pieces for a while now, and use it regularly. It doesn’t matter that none of it matches, that is the beauty of it. A set of knives from one hotel, teamed with a set of forks from another, makes for interesting dining as you can invariably start a conversation around the pieces.

However please don’t full into the trap that because it is vintage that you must have a vintage shabby chic interior! Use it creatively and decorate with it, just remember that less is more! For example these wonderful ice cream coupes planted with succulents would look fabulous on a classic Saarinen Tulip table!

Cutlery is good enough for everyday use, as it is very hard wearing (do remember it was used by 100’s of people everyday)

Use silver dishes and platters in the bathroom or anywhere that matter. A small silver plate display would look fabulous on the below coffee table.

Usually pieces can be picked up quite reasonably at markets, thrift stores and eBay. Have fun with it and bring a little savoir faire into your everyday life.
Don't forget the Savoir Faire giveaway ending Friday!


  1. 6th picture: Look exactly like mine!!!
    (present, 18th birthday)

  2. Love this post! The idea with succulents is excellent!!

  3. Excellent suggestions. I have a ton of Mappin & Webb silverware... Just don't make the mistake of checking out how sharp the knives are after 50+ years, unless you want to end up in the A&E department of your local hospital!

  4. LUVS me some silver plate! It's become rather addictive. I've got so much stuff boxed up from my rummage sale/antiquing days that my heirs will have a field day!

  5. Il duce, I hope that you are making a new will, with me as benificiary. You can never have too much!

    Pigtown- Yes I too have some wonder Mappin & Webb originally made for the London Hilton.

    Jules and La Boheme - such a brilliant idea for any old container, using it at the next dinner party

    Joe, how sweet is that!

  6. I admire silver and silver plate and keep collecting in spite of all the cleaning necessary. A friend knows a trick with Spic and Span that cleans it instantly, but I've not tried it.

    Most silver is much too elaborate and intricate; the pieces to be coveted are the heavy, plain hotel, train, airline, or institutional pieces. Your photo of the 3 plain, squat teapots shows perfect examples.

    There is a dealer (northeast corner of the building) at the St. Lawrence Antique Market (Front & Jarvis) on Sunday mornings who has lots of wonderful silverplate for give-away prices. My favourites are perfectly plain silver trays. Talk about elegance on a shoestring budget.

    Enjoying your posts....


Blog Widget by LinkWithin