Thursday, September 15, 2011

Some FAQS About Hotel Silver

I regularly receive emails from people inquiring about how to care for their hotel silver or where to acquire specific pieces. I thought I'd try and answer some of the frequently asked questions and hope they help with your search.

my collection of coffee, teapots & pitchers

c. 1900 Reed & Barton catalog showcasing prototypes

c. 1900 Reed & Barton catalog showcasing rare pieces


Q. I'm looking for large items such as punch bowls and serving platters. Do you ever come across any?

A. Early pieces of hotel silver were primarily made for individual servings, such as small little teapots, coffee pots, serving dishes or butter pats --one for each guest. A small tureen could have been used for a single serving of soup, but can now be used to hold gravy or sauce. Back in the early 1900s, china was mixed with silver for serving. There weren't a lot of large-scale pieces. If they do exist, they are quite rare and costly.

assorted spoons

Q. I'm interested in purchasing 8, 10, 12-piece place settings of flatware. Do you carry that?

A. Hotel silver is getting more and more difficult to acquire. I generally come across individual pieces of flatware. Sometimes I get lucky and acquire a small set, but have never come across a complete table setting. I always suggest mixing and matching. It's more fun anyway!

sometimes I get lucky and acquire a "lot"

Q. I'm looking for a bulk lot of ______. Do you carry that?

A. As I mentioned above, hotel silver is hard to acquire. It's like mining for gold. You never know what you're going to find and from where. It's not often you come across a "lot" of one type of piece. However, if a hotel is liquidating, there is an occasional opportunity to purchase an entire "lot."

Q. Can you locate a piece of silver from the _____ Hotel?

A. Quite frankly...well (see above answer). I really wish there was a 1-800-hotelsilver number. I'd have a wonderful supply!


Q. How do I care for my hotel silver?

A. Actually, I did a blog post about that some time ago, referenced here. I swear by Hagerty Silver Foam!


Q. I need a piece repaired, what do I do?

A. I highly recommend a qualified silversmith. We have an excellent one here in San Francisco called Biro & Sons. I plan on devoting an entire post on their operation in the near future.

Hope that answered a few questions. If you have any more, please don't hesitate to ask!

1 comment:

Amanda Hill said...

AHHH I just found your blog and it's so amazeballs! So excited to be a new follower! Your blog name had me at hello ;) Be back soon for more greatness!