Random Ramble… Rambler Rose

January 26, 2018

silver spoon, pendant, ringFor years I have lugged around my grandmother’s silverware neatly rolled up in green felt carriers with individual spaces for each utensil. The silverware is stained and tarnished, a bit beat up. I’ve never used them for eating and no one has ever suggested that we might polish up the silver for dinner. I hung onto the collection knowing that it had belonged to my grandmother and I always had a twinge of guilt when I thought of getting rid of it.

Fast forward a few years… I started working with metals and making jewelry. Thoughts of cutting up the silverware and re-purposing it often filled my mind. I finally took the plunge and did just that and made a couple of interesting pieces out of a spoon. The guilt didn’t last and I like the pieces I had created.

Over analysis? Maybe.

I decided to look a little further into the information on the back of the silverware so I could add some interesting detail to a potential listing on Etsy.  Here’s what I found… Founded in Massachusetts in 1690, Towle Silversmiths first introduced the Rambler Rose pattern in 1937. The pattern is described as a “floral motif, decorated with a line of roses trailing down the handle, ending in a tip adorned by more roses.”

The other item of note that I found is that real sterling silverware is EXPENSIVE! It’s no wonder we’ve moved away from using real silver. Who can afford it? This particular pattern goes for $1,200 for a 5-piece service for 1 person! If you were to go all out and get a complete service for 12 people, it would cost over $15,000. Of course, that is for a new, pristine set. But still.

I have no idea when my grandparents acquired the set, but I do know that I have been destroying this antique silverware that could possibly be worth more than the jewelry I am turning it into. But, after finishing up the ring, adding some patina to highlight the floral pattern, and buffing to a shine, I think I’ve decided to stick with destruction. Maybe I’ll just charge more!

    1. My Aunt on my father’s side had sterling which she planed to leave to me. Unfortunately it was stolen in a house robbery. She ends up leaving me what she felt was the equivalent cash vslue. I used that $ to buy back years in the NH teachers retirement fund and every month I get a check from that fund. My Aunt who never married spent her entire working life as. a teacher. I am pretty sure she would approve of my investment . Likewise I think your grandmother is cheering your creative use of her sterling!

    1. Great way to turn something so beautiful into something equally as creative and fun. I love your work, Lisa.

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