Monday, November 19, 2007


I love old silver.

Not merely because it is shiny.

And not because it is "posh."

It is because it is enduring enough to get handed down from generation to generation.

And it gets to tell a story.

We have a couple of big drawers full of silver cutlery at home. Quite a bit of it has been "handed down". Some of it was given as wedding presents in the days when silver was something you were proud to have in your sideboard, and bring out for visitors and special occasions. We have a few trophy pieces, won mainly for horses or cattle in the local Show.But I must tell you that a lot of it has been bought at Garage Sales and Trash and Treasure stalls, discarded by people who thought it no longer had a part in their lives.
In the Fabric Book Round Robin that I recently took part in, Diana included a beautiful old butter knife on my page. Now Diana has only met me once briefly some years ago. How did she know that this would mean so much to me?

Around the time that my Tea Party book came home to me, I lost a favourite old silver sugar spoon. I had used it continuously for 40 years! I suspect it got thrown out with the garbage after a party, but I do hold on to a faint hope that it will still turn up in some funny place. It was like an old friend.

Meanwhile, I thought I would show you some other special pieces.

This spoon belonged to my father's parents, who spent time in Ireland later in their lives. The end part carries the initials DRC. which stands for "Dublin Rifle Club." Notice the profile of the rifle on the stem.

These two lovely spoons came from my mother's family. I remember using them as a child, and I think they were given to us by my great-aunt Sally. I seem to recall being told that they had come from some Royal household, but that is a story I will probably never be able to follow up or verify.

These fish servers (below)were acquired by Bernie over 40 years ago. At the time he worked for Qantas. The servers had been used on a Royal Flight to serve the Queen and Prince Phillip. Later, pieces used on the flight were offered (at a price) to Qantas Staff members.

This set of teaspoons (above). six in all, was given to us as a wedding present by Sally Kadesh, an English lady who lived here on Norfolk Island at the time. She had a magnificent set of antiques, including furniture that was hundreds of years old. These unusual spoons, with the upside-down bowl, are a reproduction of spoons that were used in Roman times! They were evidently used to prise open shellfish, a delicacy that probably kept the Romans in Britain longer than they may have stayed otherwise!!!

This "pincushion" shoe was bought while we were holidaying with Miriam. In the towns around where Miriam lives, there are some beautiful antique stores, and they have often provided the perfect "holiday souvenir".

When I went to get this shoe to photograph it, I had quite a search. It had apparently been placed up high by someone wanting to put it out of the way of "little fingers" playing with the hat pins.

Finally, I will show you the sugar "scuttle" that belonged to Bernie's mother. It was a wedding present in 1927. I just love it.

In fact, I love all our silver, and we use some of it every day. Yes, it does sometimes need polishing, but that task is a pleasure. It is lovely to sit and run your fingers over it, and just wonder what stories the pieces could tell you, if only they could speak!


Anonymous said...

I love reading your blog entries and learning all about your island and the history behind it. I also enjoy all of the memories you share with us and your family life. Your needlework is fantastic you are such a creative woman.

These entries seem like such a treasure to me. I'm hoping that you are printing them off into a collection somewhere - perhaps a book - so that they can be enjoyed by the generations to come.


Anonymous said...

Dear Mary Christian-Bailey
My name is Moshe, and I am a stamp collector from Israel. On April 2008 Norfolk Post is going to issue a stamp with the tombstone of Sally Kadesh. I looked up the name on Google and got her name in your Blog. Can you please help me with information about Miss Kadesh?
My mail is
Thank you

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