My Mother’s Silver

How many of you had parents who owned a silver tea service? My mother had one and so did the mothers of other women I’ve asked. When my daughter said she would be interested in it, we lugged the stuff back from New Zealand in our hand and checked baggage. Our big concern about all the strange things we carried was what would happen if our bags were scanned at the San Francisco airport. If we had to undo the yards of bubble wrap and tape, we would never be able to repack them for the final leg of our journey. We were lucky. Everything passed through without trouble.

But I digress. A silver tea service usually had a teapot, hot water jug, sugar basin and milk jug and often sat on a silver tray. Mum’s is currently a fine shade of black as it hasn’t been cleaned for a long time. She was very diligent about keeping it shiny in the days when she was younger, in good health and entertaining women for afternoon teas. I remember giving her a pair of polish-impregnated gloves for cleaning the pieces. I used the teapot and water jug a couple of times when I gave afternoon tea to the church ladies. I do recall cleaning it for the occasion.

There are other silver pieces like different sized salvers for serving food at fancy dinner parties, salt and pepper shakers and coasters. My daughter can have those but I might keep the silver candle sticks which I gave my parents for their 25th wedding anniversary. Of course I will have to buy polish and make them look respectable before placing them on a table.

My daughter is an exception as most offspring do not want their parents’ silver or crystal as these things are no longer in fashion. However someone will like the silver cutlery my mother had and I also own. It is very useful to have extra knives and forks when you are feeding a crowd and the cutlery has a pleasant decorative pattern on the handles.

I think I have written about most of Mum’s possessions which I inherited except perhaps the few things that had belonged to her mother. I kept the Irish jugs and gave the pottery tankard and mustard pot to my son. I can see him using the tankard but I am not too sure about the cute little mustard pot. Who uses these today when mustard comes in squeezable containers?