Antique Silver Bride’s Baskets shine when used in new ways in your home! It’s why they’re called Baskets of Silver Bliss!
I am so honored to be part of the beautiful May/June Issue of Southern Lady magazine. I was interviewed by the editor about my love of antique silver bride’s baskets. The article is gorgeous!
Inspired by my love for shiny, elegant things, I bought my first Victorian “Bride Basket” early, before I became an antique dealer. I was 16. When other girls my age saved up for a Beatles album, I saved up for a Victorian Silver Cake Basket. Over the years, I have bought and sold many of these beautiful baskets.
I am thrilled to share a little of my love for, and knowledge of, these cherished wedding gifts of the Victorian era as featured in this month’s Southern Lady magazine. My Southern girlfriends Pam and Mary were kind enough to text and email me the photos of the article in this month’s magazine, since I’m sheltering at home and haven’t been able to see a copy!
Silver has long been used to mark special events, and silver baskets, now called Bride’s Baskets, became extremely popular in the 1880’s as a luxury gift for a bride on her wedding day. An elegant expression of beauty, love and graciousness, silver baskets made of coin silver and sterling silver were used in weddings in the early 19th century by flower girls to scatter flower petals down the church aisle, or in the case of extremely well-off bridal couples, costly orange blossoms.
This basket by Pairpoint is a current favorite, because it has such elegant styling and then two birds in the center!
By the mid 1800’s it was customary to place the basket on the main table during the reception luncheon or dinner to showcase the bridal bouquet.
Once the bride and groom, now a Mr. and Mrs., returned from their honeymoon, the happy couple used their basket to present cake, sweets or fruit while entertaining, and prominently displayed it as a centerpiece on their sideboard for elaborate dinners for friends and family.
It wasn’t until the last quarter of the 19th century that most of the Bride’s Baskets we collect and love today were made. Silver companies began to produce more and more affordable pieces in quadruple plate (silver plate) so that they would be more affordable. Instead of being sold “by appointment” in exquisite jewelry shops only, these semi luxury gifts were then sold in retail emporiums such as Macy’s in New York and Le Bon Marche in Paris.
Silver plated holders were produced by many companies, and a glass insert, often hand painted, was chosen to compliment the stand. Highly favored as wedding gifts, the baskets were made by many illustrious manufacturers such as Pairpoint, Meriden, Reed & Barton, Rogers Bros. and Britannia. The bowls were made in almost every color, with crimped, ruffled or fluted edges, cut glass bowls became popular after 1890.
Along with stands and glass bowls, companies also made “cake baskets” of silver plate. so beautifully decorated with inspired hand engravings of fruit, flowers, cherubs, birds and vines, symbols of new life for the bride and groom.
HOW TO USE THE BASKETS TODAY:
I use these silver baskets at FrenchGardenHouse for their original purpose, of course. A cake, a layer of cookies, grapes and other fruit, all of it looks elevated when presented on such an elegant silver basket!
Some other ideas are:
GUEST BATHROOM: A few small guest towels with some hand soaps make a lovely statement on one of your antique silver baskets.
GUEST ROOM: Add a map of your town, a spare key on a beautiful tassel, a wonderful book, and some chocolates to your silver basket to welcome your guests to their room for the weekend!
CENTERPIECE: Not just for flowers, fruit or cakes, pile a favorite bunch of shells on your basket for a stunning vacation souvenir. Display in your entrance hall or on your coffee table.
BUFFET: Use as a “caddy” for holding your napkins and or silver ware.
I hope you have enjoyed learning about these lovely antique baskets and will grow to love them as much as I do!
May you be blessed on this Good Friday!
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