I was visiting my parents recently, and, noticed a small square coaster-like thing, like what you might put under a bud vase. From it’s appearance I assumed it was some kind of bronze or brass, but then when I examined it I saw that it was tarnished sterling silver. And when I was in college (late 1970’s), a friend of mine owned a stemmed sterling silver cup, like a chalice, which was about the size of a large wineglass. The very name SILVERware indicates that it was once assumed that knives and forks were made out of that metal, and one of the things that makes me cringe is when that name is used for substitutes such as plastic.
All this got me thinking: It seems that people used to have real silver furnishings–teapots, SILVERware, little coaster things to put under bud vases, and so on. The list goes on:
my parents have a couple of golf trophies that my grandfather won in ancient times, and these are silver. Not pewter, and not plate, but silver.
So where did it all go? I realize, of course, that silver
left our pockets about 35 years ago when most governments stopped minting it, and that silver is now a great deal more expensive than it used to be. But wages and salaries have
gone up a lot since then as well. I can understand why silver would be somewhat rarer in household objects, but it seems to have totally vanished. You might find silver objects for sale on Rodeo Drive, but not in premium department stores like you used to.
Any ideas or comments?