Gardening, Cooking and Decorating on the Prairie of Kansas

Welcome to Linderhof, our 1920's home on the prairie, where there's usually something in the oven, flowers in the garden for tabletops and herbs in the garden for cooking. Where, when company comes, the teapot is always on and there are cookies and cakes to share in the larder.

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Auction Sterling

I always wanted sterling flatware.
Mom never had it although she had silver-plate for Sundays
and company
and stainless for everyday.

I had stainless for everyday and for good.
All I owned was stainless
And then Mom gave me her silver-plate.
She didn't entertain anymore
She didn't host family dinners
And I was thrilled to have family cutlery.

But I still yearned for sterling.

But it was beyond our means!
New, definitely, and rarely did you find it for sale in antique malls or flea markets
And if you did, it was as pricey as new retail.

In early 1990,
Husband Jim and I went to a farm auction.
I can't recall why
Whether it was the time we just went because we liked to
Or because there was something there we were interested in.

But we were there.

And there in a Russell Stover candy box was a lot of silver.
I looked and it was marked "sterling"
Yes, sterling!

In a Russell Stover candy box at a farm auction in the middle of no where!

A set with 8 place settings!

Knowing the price of sterling, I determined how much I could
spend -- thinking I could get it cheap -- it was a farm auction, after all, in the middle of no where and there didn't appear to be any dealers around.

$240 I thought would be as high as I could go --
$30 a place setting which was a real bargain!

And so I waited.
Patience is a virtue at an auction.

Finally, the Russell Stover box came up for auction.
The bidding started ta $5
Were they crazy -- that was sterling in there
(although there was no complaint from me)
and I put my bid in
Someone was bidding against me,
just one other person
Otherwise I would have had it for that opening $5 bid!
It rose slowly, a couple of dollars at a time
until it reached $25

When I got my precious box
I realized that I may have been the only one to realize the treasure inside that candy box
For the knives were on top
The knives with blades marked "stainless"
(as most sterling is)

The person bidding against me was bidding on stainless cutlery
Not sterling!

Which is why he bowed out at $20

That story is why we go to auctions
It's a great story and one that every flea marketer envies!

It went from a Russell Stover box to a silverware chest!

Once home, I did my homework and found that it was made by Alvin
and that the pattern name was Romantique.
This the the "plain" pattern.    There is also a Romantique chased pattern
that has chasing along the sides of the pieces.
Made in 1933, it reminds me of the Art Deco of that era
Clean, simple, modern!

Now I had Mother's silver-plate, my everyday stainless and a set of sterling for company and holidays
I was happy!

But then we got Jim's grandmother's sterling
The Romantique, the "cheap"  Romantique was put away in the sideboard.
And sort of forgotten.

For I had my stainless for everyday, I had mother's silver-plate for family dinners and Jim's grandmother's sterling for company.
Alvin's Romantique was just sort of "extra"

I did get it out, sometimes, for my Valentine's luncheons.
"Romantique" after all goes with hearts and romance
and although it doesn't look like Valentine's, the name says Valentine's.

Reading, however, on Gardenweb, I found many people used their sterling
for everyday
and washed it in
the dishwasher
and it holds up really well

I decided that Romantique needs to come out of the sideboard
and become our
everyday cutlery

Yesterday, I had time to make the switch.
It looks happy, doesn't it
In the kitchen silverware drawer.
The odds and ends -- the coin silver serving spoons, the steak knives, and  the stainless egg spoons are there as well.

I think I made a good choice.
Take poor "step silver" Romantique
And making it an everyday star!


Bernideen said...

This is wonderful and whoever owned it can rest in peaceful joy because you will truly appreciate and adore it!

MP said...


Cass @ That Old House said...

It looks wonderful in the "every day" drawer!
But -- don't put the knives in the DW. 2 reasons -- you don't want the silver and the stainless near one another in the DW detergent AND the knives may loosen from the blades in the extreme heat and steam. The solid silver spoons and forks should be OK -- just keep them away from any stainless in the DW.
Love that graceful pattern!
BTW I finally got sterling, too .... even better price than yours. Free. (From a friend who didn't want it!)

ellen b said...

Wowzers! That was a great deal for sure. An amazing deal actually.

Deanna said...

Absolutely beautiful!!!!