Sunday, February 24, 2013

A Silver Keepsake

While visiting blogs a couple of days ago, I ran across ANTIQUECHASE's post on succulents and silver.  I had seen this idea before -- maybe on that same blog -- but I wanted to give it a try.  I knew I had some old tarnished pieces, so went in search of a few.  The first piece I spotted was black with tarnish, so I decided to shine it up a bit.  I had tried polishing this double vegetable dish without success a year or so ago.  At one point, it had apparently been wrapped in plastic wrap -- a big no-no for silver -- and small bits were adhered to it, seemingly permanently.  BUT!  I recently discovered a great blog called Silver Magpies that gives tips for caring for silver.  As recommended, I soaked the dish in very hot water -- three times -- then used silver polish and a lot of elbow grease.  The polish recommended on Silver Magpies is Goddards, and now I can also recommend it highly!  Anyway, here is a "before" photo.
On the bottom of the dish I noticed some hallmarks, so I copied them and looked them up online.  I found an interesting website with information about hallmarks on silver holloware.  I learned that Reed and Barton used small symbols in their hallmarks to indicate which year pieces were made.  Mine had a tiny bell on it, indicating it was made in 1951. 
Engraved on the bottom is my birthdate, because the dish was a thank-you gift from my paternal grandparents to the nurse who assisted Dr. Jake (my great-uncle) and Dr. Charles (my second cousin), who presided over my birth.  (My grandfather was a jeweler and did the engraving himself.) Years later, when she was clearing out her house, she gave the dish to my parents, who passed it along to me.  Now I realize this lets everyone know EXACTLY how old I am, but it's such a great story I don't mind (much). 
 Here's an "after" photo.  Goddards worked miracles!
 I caught a panoramic view of my kitchen in the reflection -- as well as the photographer.
 Here's the dish right-side up with the lid.  Now that it's so nice and shiny -- not to mention the sentimental value -- I think I'd better find something else for my succulents!
I have two more similar dishes, both in need of polishing, so stay tuned!

I will be linking to Metamorphosis Monday at Between Naps on the Porch.


  1. Tricia, this change is amazing. I think I'm going to try soaking pieces in hot water before polishing them. I've never seen such a difference. It's a pretty piece. You should use it.

  2. Trica, this is a beautiful piece! I have some polishing to do myself so, I'll be looking for Goddards. I have never used it. Looks like it does an excellent job!! That's so interesting that they used pictures for each date! Love that! Hope you have a great week!

  3. Thanks Tricia, I have several black pieces that I would love to bring back, I am going to try your method with hot water and Goddard's polish. Silver is beautiful but a pain to care for!

  4. Don't you just love Silver Magpies? I am thrilled with how beautiful your silver came out, but don't forget to use it!

  5. Amazing! I've never heard of Goddards. Glad you're finding something else for your succulents!

    I hope you'll come see My Daughter's Master Bath Redo! #83 at Met Monday.


  6. so pretty when all cleaned up, I love the look of polished silver...this one has a wonderful style with those handles, timeless

  7. What a nice job that cleaner did on your silver piece. I have never used it but I will keep it in mind when I get in a clean g silver mood. The story behind the dish is sweet and don't worry I won't tell anyone how old-young you are. LOL!! Thanks for visiting my blog recently. I am behind in commenting due to a stress injury in my hands but I am better now. Shannon

  8. Hi lovely lady.
    You Did a Beautiful job cleaning your Silver.. Thanks so much for your sweet comments on my new post for St. Patrick's Day. Hoping you and your family have a wonderful week.
    XXOO Diane

  9. Tricia, that's a gorgeous dish. I've never seen one with a lid like that, either. You did a beautiful job cleaning it up, too.

  10. Wow! I need to get to polishing! Life to the full, Melissa @ DaisyMaeBelle