February 20, 2007

Silver

Growing up in Baltimore, we always had Stieff silver on our table. Stieff and Samuel Kirk & Sons, a firm established in the early 1800's, merged in the 1970's to become Kirk-Stieff. Both firms are closely associated with Baltimore, but were acquired by Lenox in the late 1990's and no longer exist.
My mother has an extensive collection of both Kirk and Stieff silver. Her maiden name is Rose, so her pattern was Stieff Rose. Kirk Rose is the Repousse pattern. Throughout the years, she has collected a wide assortment of silver pieces, from ice cream forks to punch ladles. When it came time for me to select a pattern, I chose the family pattern.
But I bought a set of silverware for everyday use called Stieff Cloisonne, which is a silver plate with black and red enamel insets. It's very modern, but the colours make it a classic. Even though I got it about 10+ years ago, it has aged well. Sorry about the bad photo! When I returned from the UK, I wanted something new again, so bought a pattern from Target! It's called Solar and is "silver" with embossed dots. Very simple, very easy. When I get bored with it, I won't feel bad about replacing it.

One of the things that Kirk-Stieff is most famous for is creating the replica of the Woodlawn Vase, the trophy for the Preakness Stakes, the second jewel in the Triple Crown of horse racing. The original trophy weighs in at 29 pounds, and is the most valuable trophy in sports. The winner of the Preakness receives a half-size replica... not bad!

Do you have silver service? Do you still use it?

Updated: 6:30 p.m.

8 comments:

  1. Great photos! The Stieff Cloisonne sounds very striking! Do you have any pics?
    I have my silver service that I chose when I married. I love it; it's somewhat plain, but I thought it would go nicely with my ornate china.

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  2. Since I am single with no prospects and the only daughter, I guess I will be inheriting my mother's very sizeable collection of "Repousse" by Kirk Steiff which I LOVE. She has some other patterns as well that I don't know the names of but the "Repousse" is by far my favorite.

    Her house was robbed a few years ago and they stole the entire footed silver chest - she was able to replace most of it. She had some antique pieces as well :-( Crafty burglars...they also hauled out her grandfather clock!

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  3. I will try and dig out some of the Cloisonne this evening and add a photo. When I was robbed in December, they took a the pieces I had on display, like a number of julep cups, some tea pots and a lovely butter dish with a scalloped lid. The flatware was still in storage, so they missed it. But they did look in the drawer and pass by the Target stuff!

    My parents were also robbed a few times, and once, most of the flatware was in the dishwasher (except knives which are hollow) and so they missed all of that!

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  4. Boy, I had a small wedding and barely got a full China set, never mind getting silver. I would love to own a set eventually. It would be fun to collect it bit by bit but it's just so difficult to decide. I would love to see your photos as well.

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  5. There is an adorable little Kirk Rose baby spoon floating around in our family. I'm not really sure what its story is. Everyone has Gorham's Chantilly and the other "baby flatware" is Chantilly. Anyway, interesting post :)

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  6. Love the soalr pattern from target. Will have to check that out. k

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  7. ^^ nice blog!! ^@^

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