Everyday Silver Collecting

I’m truly so passionate about silver, and believe it has a place in our modern homes, whether you love traditional or contemporary decor. My aim, aside from finding amazing antique silver pieces, is to always make the process of you acquiring a piece you love completely enjoyable! Silver isn’t just for special occasions, it’s a collection for every day. So what is Everyday Silver Collecting?


Everyday Silver Collecting

Thanks to Philip II of Spain {1527–1598} silverware came to the tables of other people besides the European elite. It had always been the preferred material for dinner ware such as cups, plates and flatware, but silver was so precious and rare that it cost a King’s ransom. In the 16th century, the discovery and extraction of massive silver deposits in Mexico and South America after the Spanish conquest created wealth for Philip II. He used it to fund endless wars across the European Continent and against Britain.

He spent so much money that it had an inflationary effect: as more and more silver entered the European markets, the less valuable it became. Eventually, {yay!} it reached a price so that even non-elites could enjoy silver on their tables at home.

antique engraved mother of pearl flatware

Antique Mother of Pearl flatware

Silver has always cost quite a bit, and today is no different if you wish to buy truly spectacular sterling pieces. Up into the 19th century the percent of net worth of a household was heavily based in their silver that they used at their table. This might shock us today, but their nest egg was on their table and in their armoires.


I’m excited to share that more and more of FrenchGardenHouse’s younger clients {under 40} are buying antique silver!  They might buy a fantastic decorative silver bowl or cup and use it in a non-traditional way. They are drawn to the history, the exquisite craftsmanship and classic beauty. They especially love using the  antique toddy and punch spoons for their home bars and entertaining. It’s an instant ice breaker!



Everyday Silver Collecting

You don’t have to be fabulously wealthy to buy silver, either. There are so many beautiful, fine quality silver pieces on the market today, both in solid silver and high quality silver plate.  Lots of our clients get such satisfaction from stirring their morning coffee and afternoon tea with an antique sterling tea spoon, they are a small investment for a life time of joy they bring.

If you are interested in bringing some silver into your life and home, I suggest you look {and buy} a piece of silver that simply captures your heart and has a price that is accessible for you. Fall in love with silver, there is so much to choose from!  The longer I sell antique silver, the more in love I’m falling with it, because each and every time I buy, and do research, I realize that antique silver has so many stories, secrets and things that I learn about!

Talk about interesting, gracious entertaining pieces, the following all fit the bill, don’t they? If you don’t know offhand what these are used for, visit our silver department and you can learn all about these gold and silver beauties!


antique French gilt sterling appetizer set


 Antique Sheffield Silver Plate Meat or Game Carving Fork

Our own collection of silver at FrenchGardenHouse is filled with fun things,  a Victorian huge tea pot I use at Christmas, my Grandmother’s small tea pot, mis matched flatware, silver candlesticks. A collection of antique silver baby cups that we drink champagne out of during baby showers. While I try to keep our silver collection to a reasonable amount {there is some discussion about what is reasonable between Mr. FrenchGardenHouse and myself} I do believe in and love Everyday Silver Collecting!


If you are just starting a silver collection, small items like salt cellars, creamers, butter knives or napkin rings are a perfect way to begin. Don’t be limited by the original use of your silver, either. Is it a cup? Yes, you can drink champagne out of it but also have it on your desk holding pens. I use an antique silver sugar pot on my vanity to store my make-up brushes and lip and eye liner pencils. There are no rules and there really is no “silver etiquette” anymore.

Antique English Silver Plated Champagne Magnum Bottle Coaster Grape Garland

You can buy a beautiful, finely crafted piece of silver or silver plate for less than a night out. When you are buying an exceptional piece of antique silver, you are not just buying a piece of history, something made by human hands belonging to a master silversmith, you are buying something that will spark joy. Something that will make you smile each and every time you see and use it!

We have hunted down some exemplary silver and silver plated antique pieces on our latest buying trip – perhaps one is just right for your silver collection. Please take a peek and please, if you do buy something, USE it!

shop silver



Shop for the best in French Antiques, furniture with the patina of age, vintage accessories to delight you and your family & friends, and French Country utilitarian pieces. Treasures that make your home fresh, beautiful, inspirational and above all uniquely yours. Visit our shop FrenchGardenHouse.com

7 thoughts on “Everyday Silver Collecting”

  1. Thank you Lidy; your post about antique silver (especially French!) made me smile. I have been “rescuing” antique silver for many years and love to use it. Some days when my busy day permits, I take a walk around the house looking at the larger pieces, then open the buffet drawers to admire the flatware that has the extra large Napolean lll forks and spoons. I love to see the looks on my dinner guest’s faces when they pick them up to use them! The French certainly have a flair for style; I am happy to have it in my ancestry.

    1. Barbara, I am sure it is a delight to sit at your table, surrounded by YOU and all your beautiful silver! Wishing you a gorgeous week ahead! xo

  2. Dear Lidy,interesting article on antique silver. My preference is for Victorian and Edwardian era British silver

  3. I knew we would both love silver! I love all silver, Dutch, English, French and American too. Big, small, each piece has history, craftsmanship and sparkles like new after polishing. A little bright spot in very room.

  4. Pamela G

    I would like to see if my guess on two objects is correct. I don’t know for sure two of the items in this article. The first is what looks similar to a cork screw but has no screw but seems as though it should open some type of vessel. The next is directly below it which seems like a meat fork but a short one. What are these two items? Many thanks

  5. Pamela,

    You’re right about the fork, it holds a piece of meat in place while carving. You can find the other one in our silver category, we currently have two. xo

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