Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Silver Streak

We have an eclectic mix of silver for this week's Vintage Thingie Thursday, and I am not even talking about my hair.

This vintage set of silver and glass drink coasters is my husband's latest find. He spotted them at an antique mall last fall. Of course, he didn't mention he wanted them until we were in the car and well on our way home. Fortunately, when we revisited the place last weekend, the coasters were still there, and a bargain at four dollars for the set! Way cheaper than those rims he's had his eyes on, and they seem to make him almost as happy. Almost.

Something I found at Goodwill a couple months ago was this Stangl pottery double candy/nut dish. You know I am all about the sweet and/or nutty--and vintage pottery--so this came home with me. I think it's about 40 years old. The hand-painted finish is called "Colonial Silver."

Generally, when I think of colonial silver, I think of things more on the order of this serving spoon.

It came from my late mother-in-law, whose family name began with the letter A, as is monogrammed on the spoon. It was the only piece of its kind in the house. On the back, there are some hallmarks--a lion, anchor, and something else I can't quite make out--and the words "Sterling," and "Pat. 1895." Wish I knew more about it.

I obviously don't know anything about polishing silver. I hear you need something called "elbow grease," but I haven't had any luck finding that at Walmart. :)

Ever wonder where the phrase, "born with a silver spoon in one's mouth" originated?

I was not born with a silver spoon in my mouth, but I was destined to put a silver knife in an electrical outlet.

As kids, my sister and I had a play area in the basement. We used an old dull butter knife to cut our modeling clay into shapes. One day when I was maybe 2 or 3 years old (and I vividly remember this), I became curious about the little brown box halfway up the wall. I climbed up onto the couch and stood level with the outlet, butter knife in hand, to get a better view. What goes in those tiny holes? I wondered. I decided to experiment with the tip of the knife. BAM!! The shock knocked me backwards into an upholstered rocker several feet behind me, and I saw colorful stars--not unlike the ones on this fabric!

And that is how outlet covers were invented. The End.

Finally, a spoon with its history literally written all over it. It's from the 1933 Chicago World's Fair, celebrating "A Century of Progress," Chicago's centennial. Neat looking art deco image on this piece, which was also a thrift store find.

Thanks so much for stopping by to visit today! Be sure to check out more vintage goodies listed and linked at Colorado Lady.


  1. Girl....this was a sick sorta way, I had to laugh at your story of not being born with a silver spoon in your mouth....It is no wonder you really were not injured by that knife in the outlet!!! I love the nut dish, that is unusual and very pretty!! Nice post for today, full of great things. Have a great VTT!

  2. I love silver--yours, mine, anyones! I have a few pieces, but I can't recall from where they came. I do know I rescued some silver napkin rings from a dumpster. I do not know how old they are, but I can tell they are silver because in order for them to be pretty, they also need "elbow grease" and I, too, have had no luck finding it at Wal-Mart, K-Mart, Target, or any other store. If you do find it, please let me know.

    I also loved your story about the light socket. Did it blow a fuse (did you have fuses or breakers back then? I think I was about 8 when my dad installed a breaker box. Up until then, we were changing fuses all the time.)

  3. Wow.....thankfully you lived to tell.

  4. You know, I should tell you the rest of the story: I really don't know if it blew a fuse. Mom, who was upstairs, heard the noise and hollered down, "What was that?!" I yelled back weakly, "Nothing." (Well, what would you say? I felt like I'd just been spanked by some invisible thing, and was realizing I'd done something very naughty.) Mom came downstairs and found me sitting in the chair. She claims she asked me repeatedly what had happened, but I just kept saying, "Nothing." A couple months later, she was cleaning and found the knife that had dropped down between the couch cushions, the tip of it melted and curled. No doubt an Inquisition ensued, but I do not remember it. I do know that the butter knife went back upstairs and into a kitchen drawer, mangled as it was, and I was reminded of the incident every time I saw it for years to come.

  5. The things kids do! I probably did something similar...I was a busybody!

    I love your silver things. Happy VTT!

  6. What an interesting post for today. You have several nice pieces of silver things. It is pretty but requires a lot of care. I love your story as a child, but how dangerous was that. Now days, they plug up the outlet holes to avoid that.

  7. You know, I always wondered how outlet covers were created! Now I know the real story behind them. LOL

    That nut/candy dish is a great find! And the oaster are very similiar to the ones I am doing a post on tomorrow. The glass is the same design but, the silver rm is different.

    Have a great day!

  8. Silver is so pretty. I really like the coasters and nut bowl. I like to use silver but do not enjoy polishing it.

  9. I love your silver. The nut dish is neat. I have collected a lot of bits and pieces of silver through the years at yard sales and such.

  10. That's an interesting story and post. I collect Century of Progress postcards and would buy a spoon if I saw it at a thrift store although I try to limit myself to paper items.

  11. great post!! You know, those are some swanky coasters. I never even knew they have a wine bottle sized one too. I don't have one but think that is a cool idea...duhh. lol

  12. That is a great collection of vintage and antique silver. Thanks for shareing and have yourself a great weekend.

  13. I love those coasters! My Mom has a set just like yours and I have always admired them.

    Susan and Bentley

  14. I wasn't born with the silver spoon either, but I have a big collection! Mine get polished rarely, love silver but not the tarnishing!

  15. Love those coasters in particular, P. Awesome!

    Sheesh, I've always heard about needing to watch kids so they didn't stick something in an electrical socket, but I never heard of anyone that actually had. Wow!

  16. What a nice collection of silver- The monogrammed "A" is lovely- Happy VTT!

  17. Among all these items, my favorite is the coasters: maybe because my mom owns a set like this one :-)
    The top view photo of them is really beautiful!

  18. I enjoyed looking at your vintage treasures, but enjoyed your story telling even more! I've had some of this elbow grease you speak of. For our twenty-fifth anniversary last year, I collected lots of vintage silver trays and platters and pitchers and pots and candelabra -- and it all needed that elbow grease applied to it before the big party. I think I got mine from Walmart?

  19. You were lucky to have survived you incident with the electric outlet. And me know when you find someplace to get elbow grease, I could use some!

  20. Tell Norm I think those coasters are The Bomb.


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