Now that it's the New Year and we're all trying to be a bit better about our habits, especially around the house, why not start with the simplest things first, like polishing silver? After all, it's one of the fastest, easiest ways to make your house look clean! As a child, I remember my grandmother Dottie paying each of my brothers and me five cents a piece to polish her silver. Gorham had always been her favorite polish and continues to be mine today.
Sometimes, when you're shopping the flea market, you have to do a little digging to find the best deals on silver. Then, what turns up might be so tarnished and black, you might just toss it back into the pile, thinking something that dirty could never come clean. But don't let that discourage you! To demonstrate the power of polish, here's a collection of loot from a recent day of digging, all from the New York City Flea Market.
All I needed was a pair of gloves, a soft polishing towel, my trusty Gorham polish and warm, soapy water. Check out the final results! This first piece, another great example of hotel silver, is a strainer spoon produced by Reed & Barton for the the Hotel Knickerbocker in New York. These are great for serving all kinds of chutneys, like this spicy cranberry-tangerine chutney from one of Jaithan's and my favorite chefs, Madhur Jaffrey.
These are two master butter spreaders, as our friend (and realtor) Eve told us, and are used for serving butter from the main plate onto yours. They're 1847 Rogers & Brothers silverplate. How pretty is the swirl pattern now that it's all shined up?
And here's a set of eight dinner forks in the same pattern that are going to look beautiful alongside my bone handle knives. Mixing I think is so much more stylish than matching! Just stick to simple patterns that relate to one another without competing.
And finally, here's a single hotel silver candlestick from the original Loews Hotel in Atlantic City built in 1956. I love its weight, together with its classic shape. This piece, as you
might remember, had been especially tarnished, but all it took was a little bit of elbow grease and look how great it turned out. It's definitely one of my new
A single candlestick like this is great on a table set for four, on a fireplace mantel, or even alongside a set of other onsie pieces that together form a cohesive and beautiful collection.
And so, the next time you're digging for silver at the flea market, on your own or even with me, look past at what something is and imagine what it could be. You just might surprise yourself! And while we're on the subject, do you have a favorite piece of silver in need of a good polish? I'd love to hear about it.