Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Sterling Silver and the Story of Grace?

I have told you of my obsession with white plates.....but here is another. Silverware. Actual silver that is etched with the name or initials of someone, or somewhere.
This serving fork is an antique etched with "National Hotels".

I imagine that it served up some Sunday brunches in it's day....perhaps lunches to ladies in dresses and fancy hats taking tea. Ya think?
This next one is special to me, it is my mother in law's baby spoon. It has her name on it.

It's pretty easy to find these pieces in antique stores. And usually is it reasonably priced.
These have the initial "W" on them.

And these next ones have a "B"! I found a "B"! For my last name! I was really excited about this find. It is a set of several spoons.

This one came from a place. My grandmother gave it to me. She got it on a trip when she was a child:

Now this next silver spoon doesn't have an initial, but I liked the intricate detailing in the pattern.

Here is a closer view, although any of these pictures you can click on for more detail. I know it is hard to see.

Finally, this is one of my favorite finds. It is a set of serving spoons with the name Grace initialed on each one.

I think it is my natural curiosity that intrigues me. I wonder how the person named Grace acquired the spoons......
Perhaps is was......
Grace was a young farm girl. The time period was way back in the 1800's. She was 24 years of age, getting older by the standards of that time in being a single woman. Most of her friends had found Mr. Right, but Grace never really dated anyone. Her time was spent working the fields and working the farm animals on her parents farm, where she still lived. Grace was a natural beauty, her neighbors and the church members (of the only church in town) often wondered why Grace had never married. They felt sorry for her. "Poor Grace", they 'd say, "She probably will not find anyone at her age. She's growing long in the tooth...." Grace heard their comments, but she ignored them. Naysayers!
One day, when Grace was working the farm, she heard her father yell. There had been an accident. Her father had severely injured his arm while working. He had crushed his arm between two large logs. It took Grace and her mother to move the log off. Grace had to take the horse and buggy two towns away, to fetch the nearest doctor, Doctor Winston. She promptly brought him back to the farm, where he was able to save her father and his arm. They had little money, but the good doctor was happy to work a payment plan for them. A good home cooked meal, and fresh eggs and milk to take back with him would suffice.
That evening Grace and her mother prepared a feast, using what was available to them on the farm. Fresh baked bread, a cured and salted hog, fresh vegetables, and the summer's best tasting fresh picked blackberry pie one could ever imagine. During supper the doctor chatted up the family, but it was Grace who he was really interested in. After supper, Grace prepared the eggs, milk and another pie for the trip when she was to take Dr. Winston back to town. Dr. Winston checked once more on her father, gave him some medication and bid Grace's mother ado. Grace was already on the buggy waiting. It was a long trip back, it had grown dark, but the moonlight on the dirt trail made it light enough to see. Grace and Dr. Winston had great conversation. Not only was it a means of killing time and staying awake, they got to know one another very well. Perhaps it was the moonlight? Dr. Winston didn't care what it was, all he knew was that he was very interested, and curious in Grace. How could someone this beautiful and this hard working not be married? Certainly it was by the grace of God. It was to his favor. By the time they made it to the town of Berkshaw, the sun was rising and bouncing rays of sunlight off of Grace's strawberry bond hair. Dr. Winston knew that if he ever wanted to see Grace again, this would be the time to inquire."Grace, would you be interested in corresponding with me? I would love to keep in touch..." "I would love to". Grace smiled shyly.
The doctor and Grace began their courting through letters that came almost daily for the next three weeks. Grace was surprised to see Dr. Winston riding up to the farm one day, she had not expected him. "Dr. Winston, what brings you here?" "I am here to check on your father, it has been weeks since the accident, I wanted to pay a visit to see how he was doing." Dr. Winston smiled at Grace as he made his way to the house. Grace continued her work, gathering vegetables in the garden. Some time later Dr. Winston made his way down to the garden to talk to Grace. "Your father has greatly improved. He almost at full usage of his limb. He is very lucky....I am glad you got to me in time to assist." "Dr. Winston, I cannot thank you enough for helping father. This is his life. He he weren't able to farm and provide for mother....."
Dr. Winston interjected, "He's a lucky man. But the way I see it so am I. Grace, I got to meet such a lovely family." Grace was a bit embarrassed and looked down. Dr. Winston continued, "Grace, I spoke with your father. You and I have courted through letters for several weeks. It's not a proper courtship, but it has worked for us. However, I would like to see you more often. Grace, I have asked your Father for your hand in marriage. He approved." Grace was completely surprised. She smiled, not fully knowing how to react. She looked up at the house, where her mother and father stood in the doorway smiling approval.
"Grace, I don't have a proper ring for you right now, I have ordered it from Chicago, but I couldn't wait it's arrival. Grace, will you do me the honor of becoming my wife?"
"YES!"Grace shouted and ran to the doctor to hug him. "Grace, the ring is expected to arrive in a couple weeks, but I wanted you to have this..", the doctor reached into his doctor bag and pulled out a package of tissue paper and twine." Grace, it isn't much.....but they are silver." Grace carefully unrolled the tissue paper. Inside there were three serving spoons, reading her name, Grace, beautifully engraved on the sterling.

It was the most beautiful thing Grace had seen. She had never seen anything with her name on it, much less silver. "Grace, I have come to love you. And please, call me Michael..."
And they loved happily ever after.....
True. I will never make it as a romance writer. And perhaps it is the cough medicine. But I can't help that my mind wanders, and wonders the stories of how the names and initials came to be. What things to you collect? Do you like monogrammed and initialed pieces?


Kimm at Reinvented said...

I don't know, you had me hooked with that story!
I, too, am obsessed with B's.
Have them all over my house, and they've even been the subject of a blog post! ;)

justabeachkat said...

Beautiful beautiful post! Hey, you should do this more often. I found myself sitting here sipping my coffee and leaning in as I read your wonderful story of Grace and Michael. Darn...it ended too soon! Unless................ you'll back up and tell us more between Grace getting the spoons and the fact that they loved happily ever after.

I love all of your silver pieces.


SILVER said...

always love Silver. Hey, that's my middle name!

enjoyed that story too!

Kirby3131 said...

What a great story! You may not be a romance writer, but you did a real nice job.

I have always loved silver and the ones with monogramming have also been my favorite. I bought a lot in auctions at one point, then ended up selling most of it when we moved to FL.

My Thrifty Thursday post is going to be on what I have collected in the past, so I'm not going to spill it now LOL

Chandy said...

I loved reading the story. So plausible! Those spoons are just gorgeous! :-D

funky bag freak said...

What a fabulous story...give us more.

I struggle with "happily ever afters"

I love my hubs he is a truely amazing man. I am blessed.

I still struggle, but I always have, even before I married my man.

I loved your story though and please give us some more.

Bama Belle said...

Great story!!! AND obviously great minds think alike cause you "kinda" stole my Thursday a bit. You will see! Anyway Love you hope you are well! talk to you soon!


I loved the story. When my kids were young...I used to make up those kinds of tales when we traveled. My sons favorite was one about a Falling Rock sign I found in the Smokey Mountains. I truly think he still believes it. I love stories that go with stuff. I have a story for tomorrow's blog that my uncle used to tell...you should stop by and read it.

ann said...

I can see why you're hooked.They are lovely.Since you love white plates,I found a lacy white WEDGEWOOD plate at a garage sale for 25 cents this last wk-end.It has to be vintage,It looks very worn and tired,but I will let it rest now,and just be pretty...Ann

OCDesigner ~Athella said...

LOL I love the silverware, the story and I did some pretty good rambling last month while on cough syrup.

nancygrayce said...

What a great find and what a great story!!! I love the silver! My mil gave me her first set of silver and I was so honored!

kari and kijsa said...

We love to collect silver too...hotel plates are another wonderful way to add a little vintage to the table! Great post!

blessings, kari & kijsa

Victorian Garden Gourmet said...

Your story reminded me in tone of one I just read, A Northern Light, by Jennifer Donnelly-it was a nice little read while sipping my morning tea. I love silver and monograms. I used to collect presentation pieces.-Items to commemorate a marriage, anniversary, or special honor. They usually had the date, sometimes names or just initials engraved in fancy script. I once found a fancy silver plated Victorian candle snuffer and tray in a box lot at an auction. I paid $10.00 for the entire box and ended up selling the snuffer for $140.00. It was so gorgeous, but had to sacrifice it to pay the bills. A thoroughly enjoyable Thrifty Thursday/Tablescape.

Laura @ the shorehouse. said...

I LOVED your story!! I love even more that your clearly appreciate the history of your pieces, which I do, too. Sometimes I even get a little sad when I see monogrammed silver or antique wedding rings...How could family ever let go of such personal treasures? Did they need to for money? Look at me...I'm such a bloggy buzz kill, lol! :-)