Vintage silverplate engagement gift

mama goose_gw zn6OHApril 20, 2012

I'd like to give my son and his fiance an engagement gift of vintage silverplate flatware. I was fortunate to find a complete 5-pc service for 12, with their monogram, but the only serving pieces included were 2 master butter knives, and 2 sugar spoons. I had a few pieces of the same pattern already (Community/Grosvenor), then found another partial set that had most of the serving pieces (probably more than they'll ever use), but a couple of the larger pieces are quite pitted. They are useable, and once they're stuck in the mashed potatoes no one would notice the pitting, but should I include those pieces in the gift, or hold them back and ask my future DIL if she'd like them, later?

Gravy Ladle:

Casserole/Berry Spoon:

Or, should I give just the monogrammed set, boxed, as a gift, then quietly give them the partial sets and serving pieces later? I don't have a lot invested, less than $1.00/piece, but so far I've collected 153 pieces. The kids are fairly casual about entertaining, so I'm going to give them my blessing to use the silverplate for everyday flatware. Son and fiance were friends in HS, kept in contact, then started dating a couple of years ago, so fiance is very comfortable in our home, with all my vintage/antique/just plain old, stuff. I use mismatched pieces everyday, but I'm not quite sure about the gift-giving etiquette.

Serving Pieces:

The whole spread:

I know some of you use silverplate or sterling every day, so I'd like your opinions. Thank you!

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I would give the good set that is lacking serving pieces....and perhaps a few of the serving pieces from the other set that are in good shape.
Then later, ask about the not so good pieces and offer them to them.

I use my sterling daily and it goes into the dishwasher. But plated ware doesn't do so well in the dishwasher if there is any tiny bit of basemetal showing, that will turn dark.
But as you have said, you don't have a lot in it....certainly less than a decent set of stainless.
Lucky kids!....And if they use it daily and wash and dry by hand they will never need to polish it.
Linda C

    Bookmark   April 20, 2012 at 4:51PM
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My mother used her Community silver plate every day and her sterling silver only for special occasions. I would do the same if I had silver plate, which I don't. I use the Onida stainless I have for every day and the Gorham sterling for special occasions.

    Bookmark   April 20, 2012 at 8:42PM
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mama goose_gw zn6OH

Lindac, thank you, I think I will follow your suggestion. When I pulled out the pieces to photograph, I realized that they won't all fit in the same box anyway. Aside from the two pieces in the pics above, all of the serving pieces are in good condition--I just need to decide which ones to include in the box. Oh, and I also noticed that a few of the knife handles (from the major SP haul in December last year) are different--slightly smaller, possibly solid handles, rather than hollow.

I'll pass along the info on hand washing vs. dishwasher. If you look closely at the carving fork, you can see that the edges of the tines and post are worn, showing the dark base that you mentioned. For many years I used an old set of Rogers (Inspiration), even putting it in the DW. Now I wish I'd known better--I'm trying to add to that set for one of my daughters. Even though it has that 'scoured' appearance, it's in decent shape, and it will have sentimental value to her.

sheilajoyce, I don't have sterling, but I enjoy using my odds-and-ends silverplate pieces every day. I have some orphaned, ornate serving pieces that I use for special occasions, and I'm trying to collect a nice service for 24, for family dinners. I'm also collecting a set for my other daughter.

I've been bitten by the silver bug!

    Bookmark   April 21, 2012 at 5:05PM
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And the next thing is a nibble by the sterling bug....
Thank heavens I got most of it out of my system when sterling was still affordable!!

I got into major trouble by saying when I was going to auctions a lot....that I would buy any sterling piece for $1.00.
Well a good buy on 12 salad forks set me on a search for other things....and now I have a service for 9 ( with a few extra salad forks!) and gravy ladle, serving spoons and meat fork, butter knives etc etc.....and another buy of 8 forks sent me to completing another pattern to 20 place settings... with the basic 4 pieces...12 settings with6 pieces....etc.
Be very careful....what looks cheap today may turn out to be an expensive habit!

    Bookmark   April 21, 2012 at 5:33PM
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I think you should check to see if they'd actually use it. Most young people like modern stuff, as far I can tell.

    Bookmark   April 21, 2012 at 6:10PM
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During a craftin binge, bought a few BIG lots of "craft" silverplate on Ebay. One lot was mainly one pattern... Patrician... and in seriously nice shape. Normal signs of wear for a pattern from the 30's, none of plating completely worn off. I polished it up and it looks fabulous! Another lot yielded more of the same pattern... some with initials. I SWEAR food tatstes better off silver... even if plated?!? Ended up with at LEAST 12 place settings... salad fork, dinner fork, knife, soup spoon and teaspoon. And a bunch of other pieces... little mini "ladles"??... butter servers, etc. I used it for a while and it went into dishwasher... with no noticable problems. Problem was, over time, it sorta yellowed... needed more elbow grease and silver polish. Has been sitting in a yard sale or thrift store find... wooden box lined with silver felt... and looks as good as day I last polished it.

    Bookmark   April 21, 2012 at 11:18PM
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mama goose_gw zn6OH

Lindac, LOL, I understand exactly what you're saying. In addition to my '$1.00 or less' rule, I don't bring home anything unless I already have several place settings in the same pattern. My plan is to complete the collections, then sell the extras. We'll see...

ideefixe, great advice! My son was raised with vintage /antiques, and so far seems to appreciate them--the first vehicle he bought on his own was a restored VW 'vanagon.' Future DIL is proud to have her Gma's sewing machine, and furniture that her Gfthr crafted. But for the price that I paid for the silverplate, they can use it and abuse it.

Which reminds me of a story...When older DD was in college, she took some art courses. She actually won awards for some of her work, but imagine my surprise, when we went to the showing, to find one of my Rogers 'Inspiration' salad forks welded to a Calder-type mobile. Grrrr. Art or not, as soon as the piece came back, I took the wire cutter to it. The fork will never be the same--maybe I should re-think giving that kid her own set. :[

klseiverd, I remember you! You're right--I find myself reaching for the silverplate, instead of stainless. I'm not a 'frou-frou' decorator, but those silverplate flowers and curlicues make every meal taste better.

You may remember my previous thread about finding a mass of silverplate via craigslist. I've had such a good time with it! While trying to complete several sets, I've given other pieces away: Traded some to another GW friend, gave my niece a small set, and gave my mother a set that happened to share her first name, 'Shirley.' She uses it to serve her card-playing pals. I used pieces engraved 'Mother' to decorate her Christmas package, and gave my sister some of the fancy, but worn, pieces to display with a tea set on her porch.

Someday the younger generation will be telling stories and laughing about Grandma's silver obsession. Maybe they already are. :)

    Bookmark   April 22, 2012 at 11:46AM
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Nix on using it as an engagement gift; Save it for a wedding gift. It'll make a very nice wedding gift. This way, if they break up and the wedding never takes place, you have a nice gift for the next one.

    Bookmark   April 23, 2012 at 4:11AM
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mama goose_gw zn6OH

jemdandy, LOL! Son and fiancee (just realized I used the wrong gender upthread) share the same last initial--that's why the monogrammed set seemed so perfect. If it all falls apart, fiancee can keep it to remind her of how she missed out on having a wonderful MIL. ;)

    Bookmark   April 24, 2012 at 7:51AM
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Mama goose...lovely name btw :). You should watch shop goodwill dot com for your silver. I've amassed a service for about sixty (we sometimes have to wash desert forks if we have a lot of appetizers) and I stick to the same price range.

If your future dil ticks you off you could always send the service to someone else who wants it (me lol). :).

For the pieces that don't pass muster you can have them replated (which is worthwhile to me for often used serving pieces) or you could try some of the less expensive replanting stuff you see online which actually does work ok...I use it for a snap on occasion

    Bookmark   April 24, 2012 at 8:38PM
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Here's a service for 12 for not much money....if you are looking for more.
As for replating worn will cost about $40 to replate a gravy can buy another used one for about $10. Unless it was my grandmother's ladle it's not worth it to me...I can buy a sterling one for $50.

Here is a link that might be useful: $50 sterling ladle

    Bookmark   April 25, 2012 at 10:43PM
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Fori is not pleased

Linda, you're such an enabler!


    Bookmark   April 25, 2012 at 10:58PM
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I know I know....I can go broke saving money.
I have right now 48 place settings ( knife, fork, spoon and salad fork) of sterling in 3 different patterns. Most of it due to "filling out" something I bought at a great bargain.

No reason others can't enjoy the affliction too!

    Bookmark   April 26, 2012 at 10:15AM
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mama goose_gw zn6OH

igloochic, LOL. I've wondered about the replating products that one can use at home--the reviews on several products were mixed. Thank you, I'll bookmark shopgoodwill, and start checking regularly. I checked Etsy just to see what was available, but of course their prices are set, and it's more difficult to find bargains there.

Lindac, after posting the thread, I've found a few pieces to complete the 24 pl service. Thank you for the link--the box alone is really nice. I'm putting the set on my watch list, but I fear that if I buy any more Grosvenor pieces, I'll be teetering on the brink of hoarding. And as for sterling...I'm not even gonna go there! ;)

Hi, fori! :)

    Bookmark   April 26, 2012 at 11:03AM
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Fori is not pleased

It's not hoarding when it's a gift.

Plus it's really small and stacks with others. :P

    Bookmark   April 26, 2012 at 3:28PM
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mama goose_gw zn6OH

Updating to you let you know that I gave the gift last week. They seemed happy with it, especially the monogrammed pieces, and took all the serving pieces. I found a gravy ladle that is in better shape (although not MINT, as the eBay seller claimed), along with some extra pieces that I plan to sell. I put the serving pieces in an extra wooden storage chest that my father had given me.

I was able to collect enough for 24 place settings, plus the chest and serving pieces pictured in my first post, as well as the better ladle and a few extra pieces (total 199 pieces), for well under $1.00/piece.

Then I found this little cutie (pictured next to a teaspoon for scale), and blew my average:

It was still a great deal at $10.25. I think it'll make a lovely stocking stuffer! :)

    Bookmark   May 28, 2012 at 2:53PM
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A lemon fork!!...Yep that knocks that average way out of kilter!!
Glad they were delighted....and that you have all that awful old stuff finally out of your house...;-Q

    Bookmark   May 28, 2012 at 3:13PM
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mama goose_gw zn6OH

Thanks, Lindac! My cupboards are becoming more bare. My BIL and his family were visiting from NH last week, and when SIL noticed that I was setting the table with my June II, and I showed her the Grosvenor before I presented it to son and future DIL, she commented that she'd never had silverplate. After dinner I gave her 8 place settings, plus extras, of Devonshire, from the original stash. She cried while she and I wrapped it for the flight home. OK, she always has dramatic reactions, but I've had so much fun giving this stuff away!

    Bookmark   May 29, 2012 at 4:07PM
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Aren't you glad you didn't sell the extras??? Bet you have had way more than $50 worth of fun out of giving that stuff away....
Think of what a burger and a movie costs!!
Linda C

    Bookmark   May 29, 2012 at 6:18PM
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Fori is not pleased

Aww that's sweet.

Didja decide to have some extra fun and slip a butter knife into her carry on luggage? Hehehe!

    Bookmark   May 29, 2012 at 7:18PM
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lindac are baaaaaaad!!!

    Bookmark   May 29, 2012 at 7:38PM
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mama goose_gw zn6OH

I've been bargain-hunting again, and wanted to share my find with the folks who love vintage silver/silverplate.

*******Spoiler Alert for my soon-to-be DIL, if you find this thread, DO NOT continue reading until after your birthday!******* ;)

Although I hadn't planned to collect any hollow-ware in the Grosvenor pattern, I found this coffee/tea pot for such a good price (IMO), that I couldn't pass it by! If my son and future DIL don't use it for serving coffee or tea, they can use it as a vase.

It even has their shared monogram!

    Bookmark   June 12, 2013 at 2:51PM
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Fori is not pleased

And now you must get the rest of it....


    Bookmark   June 12, 2013 at 9:44PM
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Oh, goodness. I would be in REAL trouble if I lived by you, Linda and Mama Goose. Real trouble!

    Bookmark   June 16, 2013 at 6:15PM
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I wouldn't give it as a gift, might give it later after discussing it with them. I would worry about what kind of metal is under the pitting. We have a lot of laws today protecting us from metals, like lead and aluminum and chemicals to protect us. Probably none back then, if it is an antique.

    Bookmark   June 17, 2013 at 3:02PM
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mama goose_gw zn6OH

fori, Lindac was right about you! ;)

sheilajoyce, the more the merrier. :)

Thank you, EmmaR, but the gift was given and graciously accepted--I thought I'd updated after posting the pic of the lemon fork. I found another gravy ladle and a casserole spoon in great shape, to replace the pitted pieces. My future DIL is artistic, so maybe she can use the pitted pieces in a craft.

I ended up collecting service for 24+ (over 260 pieces), including individual butter spreaders, 12 fruit spoons, 10 cocktail forks, and serving pieces including an 11" oyster/soup ladle, sauce ladle, olive spoon, 2 pie servers, a large 3pc carving set, and 2 wooden chests. The soup ladle and carving set were given as Christmas stocking stuffers.

The average cost per piece was $1.30!

    Bookmark   June 17, 2013 at 10:01PM
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