Collecting fine silver has once again become a passion for many. With the popularity of hit television shows such as Downton Abbey, Victoria, and the Crown, there has been a renewed interest in decorating and entertaining with fine silver. The elaborate and elegant dinner scenes highlighted on these shows have inspired a new generation to plan elaborate dinner parties; some with a new end goal: an elaborate table-scape that sparkles in pictures on Instagram. All of the images on Instagram seem to outshine each other and are filled with beautiful pieces of sterling. Popular hashtags include #tablescape which currently has 634,219 posts and #placesetting which has 76,609. These tables don’t look like your grandmothers. They are reflective and shine. Even if you aren’t entertaining for a large crowd, hosting a dinner for the Queen of England, or intending to post to Instagram, using sterling silver is a nice way to add elegance to your table, your meal, and your entire home.
In today’s auction market we are seeing an abundance of sterling silver flatware, hollowware, and large decorative pieces. Baby Boomers are slowly liquidating their property, whether gifted, inherited, or purchased and most of them are under the misconception that the younger generation’s lifestyle does not accommodate an interest in this type of property. The truth is, they are interested. They just don’t know how to use them in a way that it makes sense in their daily life.
Younger generations were brought up to believe that these beautiful sterling items were only to be used for special occasions. They have no idea how to translate them into everyday functional pieces that also make for good fodder for something as normal (albeit a new normal) as Instagram.
Flatware services in such patterns as Wallace’s Grand Baroque and Reed and Barton’s Francis the First, with their elaborate rocaille scroll work will appeal to those who have more of a traditional sensitivity. These sets match well with a classic and clean tablescape, where the silver work is allowed to stand out and shine. More modern flatware such as International Silver Co.’s “Royal Danish” pattern and Manchester’s “Copenhagen” will appeal to those who appreciate cleaner simpler lines, but one thing is sure, they all will be a splendid addition to your #tablescape.
Other sterling pieces that are sure to impress both your guests and your Instagram followers are sterling serving platters that can hold not only the food but can also serve as a purely decorative element. They can be placed to rest glass balls or paperweights, candles, etc. Platters such as ornate baskets, or bowls, can add a definite interest to any table setting.
Sterling silver serving utensils, such as the Buccellati vegetable spoon is an unexpected surprise when serving your somewhat pedestrian but required vegetables, and most definitely instgrammable!
Incorporating elements of a bygone era into home decor is not a new trend and does not necessarily mean decorating with stuffy and boring sterling pieces that only your mother or great-grandmother would have used for special occasions. You can repurpose a sterling water pitcher such as this Tiffany & Co. one, that can be brought back to life as a vase, or this splendid asparagus server which can be used for a multitude of multi-colored root vegetables that seem to appear in just about everyone’s diet these days, not to mention on your Instagram feed.
The appreciation of silver both literally and figuratively is a growing phenomenon. It is a sound investment both in one’s net worth and in one’s lifestyle.