Monday, 28 April 2014

Not silver; but almost.



I'm sure most English people know about this, but for the few who may not.....

UK 'boot sales' are awash with boxes of grotty old cutlery which often contain serving spoons such as the above. These boxes are well worth the rummaging. 

These are not silver spoons, they are often made of a nickel silver alloy, but they are particularly well made and therefore there's no paper-thin plating to wear off and expose some nasty brassy/coppery coloured metal underneath. 

So how does one spot such spoons? Look out for the words Bengal Silver, or Sidney Silver, or Waratah Silver, or Nevada Silver, or Brazilian Silver. There are lots of similar names, and you'll find them on the back of the spoon in place of all those usual fake silver marks. (I tried to take a close-up pic of the names, but no luck)

I've owned the ones above for a very long time, and of course they were owned by others before me. None of them shows any sign of wear, whereas with other poorer quality spoons (which I wouldn't tolerate) the silver soon wears thin. 

Quality always shows, and, if you're lucky enough to find them, they can be bought for almost nothing.

I've yet to see a modern spoon that comes anywhere close to the beauty of these old ones. The 3 on the left, above, are a particularly favourite style, with the embossed shield between the bowl and the stem. They make life just that tiny bit more pleasant.



22 comments:

  1. Nice looking spoons. Must keep a lookout for them.

    ReplyDelete
  2. We have Jumble sales as well, usually in a Church hall and they raise funds for charity. These are even cheaper than car boots and they always have a lot of old cutlery. I bought a vintage glass rolling pin for 30p a few weeks ago.

    So if your over here and you see a sign saying Jumble sale try and pop in but be warned they're full of gentle old ladies who have razor sharp elbows when it comes to getting a bargain!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I've witnessed them. I was once at a jumble sale in Brighton, and about to buy a whole Turtle carapace for £5, when I was almost trampled to death by 'Bargain Hunters'.

      Delete
  3. Lovely spoons. I have developed a penchant for bone handled knives. Hope to be adding to my collection when we start car booting daughter's vast clothes collection!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Bone handled knives have the same sort of allure as these spoons. Quality from another age.

      Delete
  4. Indeed there is something deeply satisfying about using items from times gone by. They have such a better feel to them.

    ReplyDelete
  5. They have a nice, slightly rosy, glow to them. I love old things like this too - one can speculate on where they have been used before.

    ReplyDelete
  6. It is those little pleasant details that enrich our lives, n'est pas? The warm hue of the spoons is enhanced by that lovely wood behind it! Is that your dining table?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, I had it made from an old oak wine 'cuve'; these are huge oval barrels that the wine is fermented in, now mostly abandoned.

      Delete
  7. EPNS is all I can say on the matter.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. If it has those letters on the back, I leave well alone.

      Delete
  8. All my cutlery is old silverware and I absolutely love all the designs. I enjoy stirring my tea with a variety of different spoons. I was recently told that I shouldn;t use them as they contain lead. Is there any truth in that?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I have a lot of old pewter forks and spoons, and I think they're 99% lead. I don't think there's any lead in silver! You'll survive, I'm sure.

      Delete
  9. I love having things that were used by someone who came before me.

    ReplyDelete
  10. I love good cutlery, it's worth paying to get better quality. I hate eating with tinny forks.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. People of the Ikea generation don't know how unlucky they are!

      Delete
  11. It's the little things that make us smile each day.

    ReplyDelete
  12. We live in such a throw-away society and quality like your spoons is mostly lost on the children of today, mine included. They have no interest in the contents of Menagerie Manor…..perhaps the grandchildren?

    ReplyDelete
  13. I have a ton of these kind of spoons at home
    I use them as soup spoons

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Good for you John. Any news of Tom?

      Delete
  14. Oh how I love real silver! About 8 years ago was in a Mrs Quinns thrift shoppe in Dingle Ireland and found (buried in a box, under a pile of linens) several large silver spoons from a nearby now defunct Convent. Since I am the last remaining Catholic in my family I love banging my kids on the head with them...just as the nuns themselves did long ago.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Are these real silver? Irish silver is much sought after!

      Delete

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...