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Collecting- Tips for collecting and enjoying vintage silver

Vintage silver.

No matter what it is, size, shape or style- vintage silver is one of those things I have a hard time walking by at a flea market or in the thrift store.

Little bits of that silver always seems to catch my eye from across the room.
And I do often scour the flatware bins for random old pieces that are mixed in.
Collecting silver can be big or small. It can be something that can be as simple as flatware- or trophies or even larger domes and other pieces that you might happen upon. 

And allllll of it is good in my book.

And funny side note- most of these photos are actually from my book  

Along the way of collecting this and that and those wayward pieces of old silver-
 I have learned a couple of things and learned what to look for and what not to leave behind-
and  thought I would share a few of them today. 

#1. Flatware 

I have a drawer full of vintage silver flatware. Possibly 2 drawers full if I was to be honest.
I love a set of vintage silver flatware- as much as I love a few pieces of vintage silver flatware.
While I will bring home a whole place setting or 8 place settings all at one time- I am just as likely to sort through and pick out just one or just a handful of pieces that speak to me. 

I am not a matchy matchy kind of girl when it comes to silver flatware and actually prefer the pieces to be mixed in an interesting and collected way. 
So a tip:  Don't pass up those wayward knives or forks that talk to you just because they are loners. Bring those loners home.

#2. Patterns

This royal pattern. That hotel pattern. Etc. I love them all- and I don't even care if I know what patterns they are or if they are rare or common. 
I chose the patterns that really talk to me. The ones with intricate details and lots of pizazz will instantly catch my eye. Especially if they have a crest or shield which I just seem to be drawn to. And sometimes it is the most simple lines with barely any details that talk to me. 
Tip: Just find the ones you love without  worrying about pedigree- and start collecting.

 But even more eye catching for me? The next thing I look for...

#3. Monograms

If it has a monogram- it is coming home with me. It doesn't have to be my monogram-  I love them all. To me a monogrammed piece of flatware or trophy or anything else is absolutely delightful. 

It is personal and elegant and it speaks to a time when people were all about formal touches for those special pieces.   Monograms bring a sense of history and nostalgia to a piece. 

#4. Trophies

It goes without saying that silver trophies are pretty incredible. They can be displayed on a shelf or used for flowers or simply enjoyed just as they are. And again- monograms, inscriptions, etc.- even better. 

#5. Groups 

Those trophies are incredible by themselves- and in groups. 

These little dainty trinkets were a find at High Point Market and when I sorted through the 50 or so they had- I grabbed the ones that I knew would be charming displayed together as well. 

Those ones with the ribbons are my favorites. Though a lot of them have scuffed plastic bottoms or old dings and dents- I love them even so. 

#6. Mismatched on the table

Use those mismatched pieces on the table - for special occasions and for everyday occasions.
No rhyme or reason needed- just a knife, spoon and fork in random patterns for informal tables will do.

#7. Randomness

Goblets, dome covers, tureens, gravy boats, creamer & sugar containers, candlesticks, napkin rings- 
there are so many possibilities for collecting, using and displaying silver. 
And I don't discount damaged pieces either- some of my favorites have worn handles, rubbed away finishes,  dents and dings. They are all
beautiful to use and incorporate in many ways even so.

I tend to bring wayward pieces home no matter what they are- 
because I always find a wonderful way or place to enjoy them.

#8. Patina

I love dark patina on silver just as much as I love that shiny polish. I do polish- and actually it is kind of like ironing to me- very relaxing and almost zen like. But honestly, it depends on my mood if I will polish the silver before using it. 

Because there is something about that darkened old patina that I do love sometimes. 
So you will see both in my stylings. And best polish I have found is Wrights Silver Cream

 And if you are looking for information about the EASIEST silver tarnish removal- this tip was game changer.

You can find my book at Amazon  and also find signed copies in my shop.  And speaking of my shop- some exciting additions coming very soon. 

Happy Wednesday everyone.


  1. Courtney, my favorite cleaner is MAAS metal polish. It is easy wipe on wipe off . Anti-tarnish protection too! It cleans silver,brass,copper,chrome, stainless, and more. I buy it on Amazon. Works absolutely wonderful!

  2. SOOOOOO thrilled to see your post on silver. Are you sure you are not Southern? ha! My sister and I said one can never have too many silver pieces. That is what we dearly love and use everyday. I use my silverplate, I use my sterling. WHat good is it packed away ? Awesome post!

  3. Do you purchase silver plate and sterling? I love it all and find a lot of silver plate at thrift shops. I don't think it is particularly "in" with the younger generation, so the prices are very good.

  4. I love the Wrights silver cream. Very easy to use and cleans well. I alao nring home random pieces of silver and flatware. In fact, I think you have two oatterns I have. I love using silver and even more during the winter as it adds sparkle to the table. My everyday butter dish is silver. I also love silver trays. Thanks for sharing.

  5. Share yr silver affection. My basement is full of it from sales where most people shy away from the upkeep. Their loss! I hav found Hagerty's polish to be the easiest. Many products and the spray is a dream for tough spots. I order it from Silver Queen.

  6. Those trophies are so hard to find! You have to hope they aren’t too pricey and grab them when you see them. I love monogrammed pieces,any monogram will do.

  7. Old trophies are so hard to find! You have to hope they aren’t too expensive and purchase quickly. Old monograms are beautiful to me also. I also collect vintage monogrammed linens.

  8. I love silver too. I have mixed flatware also, I have many different patterns. Each place setting is one pattern and no two place settings are alike. I find that guests often start comparing the patterns of their set. I made custom pacific cloth pouches to store each piece, because I like to keep the flatware nice and shiny.