When my sister and I cleaned out our parents’ home, we had to make many decisions about what to do with all the stuff. Which things are truly “valuable” and which have only sentiment in their favor? Should we sell it, keep it, or throw it away? To help ensure a future for our family’s heirlooms, I plan to leave a booklet for my daughters telling the stories of what they will inherit one day. (Not TOO soon, I hope!) With this challenge I begin my book of Heirlooms.
is for those heirlooms that are “under-appreciated.” Frankly, that could be almost anything in my house! But I will limit myself to the silver.
My grand-aunt Helen Martha Killeen Parker knew she was dying in 1981, so she labeled her possessions with the names of the recipients. My dad’s sister was very close to Aunt Helen, so she received quite a few things. Whether she thought she had inherited too much for one person or simply had no interest in another tea set, my aunt gave the set to me knowing I would appreciate fine silver.
I always thought the silver service was a wedding gift until I did a little research. The pattern is Shell and Gadroon by Gorham dating from the 1950s, almost 30 years after Helen and Herbert married. I found a set online selling for $789. Unlike the set for sale, mine has a different tray and does not include the waste bowl.
My aunt also gave me Aunt Helen’s silver punch bowl. If you’ve never drunk punch from a silver cup, you are missing out on an extraordinary experience. Silver holds the cold like no other.
Yeeaah, hardly anyone loves silver anymore. Hardly anyone wants to bother with polishing it. They should be happy with recent decorating trends that celebrate tarnish. While I do not LOVE polishing silver, I do not mind putting in the effort. All that sparkle is reward enough.
© 2018, Wendy Mathias. All rights reserved.