Thursday, February 19, 2009

Look! Something Shiny!


There are places I haunt.  My only sympathetic connection with Holly Golightly is her use of retail as temple.  Having an unlimited budget often leads to being an undiscerning buyer.  Having to choose makes you a better shopper.  And sometime stalker.


I stalk the antique silver at Hall's.  It's in a case, behind glass, because it knows it's important.  It doesn't care if you want it or not.  It's good.  It knows it.  It welcomes you to admire it.  And admire it I do.  But I do wish these lovely pieces were gracing family tables and sideboards and shelves.  Last week I took a little trip down to Hall's with Soodie Beasley, who is an antique appraiser, to take a look.   We thought it would be fun to see which pieces we each would choose; she, backed by education and knowledge, me, liking pretty, shiny things.


We each picked five things.  We had a couple in common.  I started my list with this enchanting tray.  It's just so pretty.  The engraving, with the crane and the fan and the dragonfly is delightful, but the bamboo handles really got me.


Our trusty guide, Melissa Fritz of Hall's, was sure to show me how beautifully the handle had been attached with the lovely leaves as camoflage.  The piece was manufactured by William Hutton in 1865.  

Next up, a Georgian tureen, she of stunning silhouette.  Manufactured in 1875 she is in good condition and her lid sits firm and snug just as it should.


We deemed this the "I Dream of Jeannie" teapot and it is a bit magical.  Another piece from the 1800's, this one manufactured by Matthew Boulton, its jaunty wood handle and finial would add a spirited air to any collection.


Don't you think, wouldn't you want to, I mean, I know things are tight, but doesn't it seem somehow a bit better to save your pennies for something remarkably special than to toss one more $19.99 nothing into your basket?  I think it is.


Number 4 is just the bee's knees.  Late 19th century, this condiment set would brighten any breakfast table.  Salt, pepper and perhaps mustard all so handy.  Melissa did think there was a possibility that the glass liner had been added later and that that cup had originally been intended to hold an egg.  This might keep me from eating my breakfast standing at the kitchen counter as I pack the boys' lunches.  The button feet alone make me want to sit down and pop out a linen napkin.

And, last but surely not least, this Walker & Hall compote or centerpiece.  The Victorians may have heaped it with fruit but it would surely be just as happy holding M&Ms.

Fine pieces like these should not languish behind glass.  Save for them.  Buy them.  Treasure them.  These are the things that make everyday something special.  Hall's does have a special no-interest program for significant purchases for regular customers and a particularly appealing one for new brides.  Anyone in tabletop can fill you in.  To see Soodie's picks - and to have some real insight into the pieces - do check her blog here.

12 comments:

David said...

I love that case, conveniently located on the way to the mens department. And you're right, those pieces should be on family sideboards and tables. I'd welcome that tureen to either of mine.

Martha said...

I didn't know someone else loved to look at the antique silver at Halls -- I stand and drool everytime I'm there -- I adore antique silver.

Martha

maison21 said...

i covet the georgian tureen very much!

Blushing hostess said...

Now you've completely distracted me from whatever brilliance might have leapt on to my blog today. How I love silver - and that bamboo inspitred tray - I've never seen anything like it. Just what I need, one more thing to polish - why, it is hard enough already! I'd only put down the polish rag long enough to see what you were up to! Be well, The Hostess

pve design said...

Funny - our posts both honor the fineries of life today. I love that tray.
Collecting is so personal.
pve

Debra said...

Gorgeous silver! I love the vision of the compote filled with M & M's.
If the silver has been engraved and awarded- all the better. Thanks for sharing this fun outting!

Laura Casey Interiors said...

Next time you are in NYC put Jean Silversmith's on your "to visit" list. They are a little hole in the wall and the best silver source in the city. Love the bamboo handles too. Great finds!

Style Court said...

Such treasures Patricia. The tray is to-die-for and could be so useful too.

MIMILEE said...

I have a compote like the last one.....and I just love it! I use it for a multitued of things....and yes, even M&Ms~...LOL

Karena said...

Love the "Bee" Condiment set. Of course my daughter is a beekeeper! I wish I had more time to polish the silver that I have. Off to see Soodie's picks....

Anonymous said...

I love your comments on budget and discernment in shopping - something good that can come out of these down economic times. I adore old silver and could spend hours and hours looking at it. Researching the silver marks is very interesting - makes me feel like a sleuth !!
Christy

trying to remember it all said...

I'd get the tray JUST for the handles - I'm a sucker for things that look like bamboo.