Flatware: Sterling Silver + Silver Plate

Mr. MM and I have been searching high and low for new flatware.  We finally settled on the Lucca from Crate and Barrel but have yet to buy any.


Lucca – Crate and Barrel

I like that it’s made in Italy … not China.  We like the simple design and that its finish is pewter which has a really nice ‘vintage’ look.  It does give me pause that 3 out of the 5 reviews are incredibly negative.

What I really want is a sterling silver flatware set. But who has +/-$950 to spend on each 5 piece place setting?  I like the finish of worn sterling silver flatware … the patina of use.  So what I really want is a vintage set of sterling silver flatware.  This does not make it any less expensive.

During our visit to the Saturday flea market in Vienna, I found two beautiful sterling silver forks.

Russian Sterling Silver

Russian Sterling Silver

The front right of the fork is stamped with 84 (followed by a smaller G).  It is my understanding that this is a Russian mark common from the 19th century through the early 20th century.  84 zolotnik Russian silver contains 87.5% pure silver and 12.5% copper or other metals.

The front left of the fork is stamped with what I believe to be the city mark for St. Petersburg.  The city used the double headed imperial eagle as its mark until 1741.  In 1741, the imperial eagle was replaced by an anchor and grapnel crossing a scepter.  Variations of this theme were used until 1896.

Based on my research, I suspect these forks are from the 19th century.  Every time I use them I wonder about all the people who have used them before me.

I bought them for 5 Euro.  He didn’t have any other matching pieces.  Bummer.  What I love about them is the long tines and the ribbon pattern around the perimeter ending in a bow on the back side.  They’re just so lovely.

The forks started me thinking.  Why don’t I just buy our flatware piecemeal?  As I find either sterling silver or silver plate pieces that I like, I’ll add them to the collection.  I do love having various items to hunt for.

Last Saturday at Junk Box, I found 7 oval soup spoons.

Wm. Rogers

Wm. Rogers

I’m VERY particular about my soup spoons.  The shape, weight, and size are a big deal for me.  Crazy?  Maybe.  I have one (and only one) mid-century modern soup spoon that I use every time we have soup.  Only one though.  So imagine my glee when I came upon 7 silver soup spoons that matched the shape and size of my beloved mid-century modern soup spoon.

I had to dig around in a box of mismatched silver flatware.  I bought all 7 of them in various states of tarnish for $7.  They have a monogrammed ‘C’ on the handle but since that’s my sister’s first name initial, I’m cool with it.

Turns out they are from Wm. Rogers.  The pattern is ‘Devonshire’ also known as ‘Mary Lou’.  They were made in 1938.  They are silver plate.

At the time, I didn’t know how to tell if they were sterling.  Now I know to look for 925  or ‘sterling’ mark on the pieces indicating they are sterling.

One of my ‘Google’ searches turned up Anthropologie’s ‘Rediscovered Flatware’.  $36 will buy a 5 piece place setting of mis-matched vintage silver plate flatware.  I don’t know about you but I enjoy the hunt so I’ll create my own mis-matched place settings.


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