Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Silver Lining

Look at the treasure I found at the thrift store today! I love the thrill of the hunt at thrift stores - you just never know what you'll find. Today I found this box of sterling silverware for $2.99. The pricing at our local Goodwill is a mystery - some tacky tchotchkes are way over priced (more than any sane person would pay for them brand new!), and then this great collection priced less than the cost of a latte. There are over fifty pieces in here, some I knew had spooned their last soup many years ago. Tarnish-ware more accurately describes what was in the box. I hoped to get a few good pieces out of the collection.

When I come across a find like this, I wonder about the previous owner. The silverware was in an old, fabric covered silverware box, held together with masking tape. Did someone have it packed away, waiting for a special occasion ? Did she have to leave her home and go to live where staff served the meals? I hope she didn't save this silverware for a special occasion and instead used some ugly, practical tableware while waiting for the right time to pull out the good stuff.

I have a collection of mismatched silver from various thrift stores that I use every day. I like that it's not, as my Boston daughter would say, "all matchy-matchy." I also like that it came to me well used, so I'm not worried about being extra careful with it and certainly don't save it for special occasions. I do, and I know this is heresy, put it in the dishwasher. Even Annie's Organic Mac and Cheese becomes an elegant meal when served with old silverware. It reminds me of the Thoreau quote: "To affect the quality of the day, that is the highest of arts".

Wow - this cleaned up well! A couple of rounds with silver polish and I now have forty-seven pieces of fantastic silver !! Knives don't seem to hold up as well as other pieces- maybe they get used as kitchen tools (who me, use a knife as a screwdriver?) or the maybe the blade portion is made of an alloy, but only 2 of the knives made the cut. The butter knives are in much better shape - maybe because they were only slicing through soft butter, once or twice a decade!

This spoon is a beauty - lots of fancy scroll work on both the handle and the bowl. Got my toes in the picture - Jenny Doh of Crescendoh often says that red is a powerful color and you should use it sparingly, so I can pretend I was adding in the splash of red for this photo.

To the previous owner of these carefully saved pieces, I'll love using them every day.


  1. Way to go! What a haul! The spoon is amazing (and also the red nail polish - apparently red is back in a big way for the toes in France...).

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  3. Forget silver polish. Get a plastic washing up bown and line it with crumpled aluminium foil. Add a cup of washing soda or bicarbonate of soda (not quite as good). Put the tarnished silver in the bowl on the foil and then add boiling water to cover.

    Stand back and leave it for ten minutes. All tarnish should be gone, if not pop it back into the mix.

    Works every time.

  4. Thanks for the tip, Maureen. I tried it once with baking soda and it left some dark spots. I'll search out washing soda and give it a try again - lots easier than polishing.
    thanks for stopping by.


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