Tuesday, April 24, 2018

A to Z April Challenge: U is for Underappreciated


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. 

Helen Killeen Parker silver tea set  https://jollettetc.blogspot.com


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. 

Helen Killeen Parker silver punch bowl set https://jollettetc.blogspot.com


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.

Wendy
© 2018, Wendy Mathias. All rights reserved.

16 comments:

  1. My grandmother and my mother had lots of silver. It was my job to polish it all. I hated the smell of the silver polish, I can still smell it just thinking about it! When I got married I said NO SILVER! I did end up with a couple of pieces of my mother's. Oh and we got silver goblets as a wedding gift!
    Your punch bowl set is gorgeous!

    My A to Z Genealogy Challenges

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    1. My wedding gifts included several silver pieces - a bon bon dish, bread tray, celery tray (!!), jelly server, candlesticks, large serving tray (from Aunt Helen), and of course my fine silverware. The smell of polish has never bothered me, but maybe it is a different brand or has improved over the years.

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  2. Lovely punch bowl set. I can remember the smell of silver polish as well as Brasso when we had to polish those brass items as well.

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    1. Oh yeah - Brasso is not pleasant!

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    2. Oh yeah, Brasso was bad too, as was silver polish! *pinching my nose* hahaha

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  3. What lovely pieces! I like my silver polished, I am not fond of the unpolished look that a lot of people seem to like these days.

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    1. I'll admit I can let my silver go a long time before I break down and polish it. If nobody is coming to my house, I can put it off. But it gets a good polish at least 2-3 times a year for sure.

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    2. When my parents retired, Mom used her silver flatware every day. It can't go in dishwasher because it gets pitted. She gave lots of dinner parties and used her other silver pieces alot, but I was long gone and didn't have to clean it. Yaaay!

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  4. I enjoy your heirloom posts! I started mine a couple of years ago but recently fell off with them. If the kids know the meaning of them and where they can’t ftom - hopefully they’ll keep them! My daughter would love your silver but unfortunately she has none to inherit!

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    1. I remember you were doing a series on heirlooms.

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  5. That is a lovely tea set! I like to look at silver but only own the 2 silver goblets we toasted each other with at our wedding years ago and they both need a good polishing!

    betty

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    1. I hope you drag your goblets out at least once a year to toast your anniversary.

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  6. You were the perfect person to inherit all the beautiful silver....one who appreciates it's history, beauty and value. I couldn't use it tarnished either. I received a silver platter on our 25th anniversary, but my favorite is silver jewelry...not that I do not mind polishing and wear it a lot. Good Use for letter 'U'.

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    1. Yes - silver jewelry! Love it too.

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  7. Nice use of the letter U! I have a mismatched tea set of my grandmother's - when her house was cleaned out it was in the "junk" pile and I snatched it up.

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    1. Junk??? Curses!! I'm glad you grabbed it.

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