Pierced bride's basket, and oval picture frames by ... could it be Gordon Blacklock?
Porringer, silver capped inkwells, chased hairbrush all by Obadiah Fisher
Ivory and sterling baby teether by David Edwards
Engraved 'Baby' cup by Pete Aquisto
Candlesticks by various artisans
Occassional table by Warren Dick
CLEANING MINIATURE SILVER
Even though I like a bit of tarnish and patina on my human-sized pieces of silver, miniature silver should never be left to tarnish long, as it's almost impossible to restore its original shine without a lot of tedious, time consuming effort. When I do polish I use a dampened Q-Tip (cotton swab) and a bit of silver paste (Wrights is good, or any other non-abrasive brand), but never a liquid dip, as it will remove all that lovely dark tarnish that has gathered in the nooks and crannies to outline the details. I keep a glass of hot water handy to drop the pieces in when finished, and after the water bath use a fine, soft brush to remove any residue that may remain in a few tight places ... rinse again, then use a tea-shirt like fabric (preferably 100% cotton) to polish gently. If you've missed some of the paste it will show white when dried, and you can remove it then. Word of warning ... never do your cleaning near an open drain! You will cry yourself to sleep fretting over some little lovely that took a notion to explore the dark underbelly of the kitchen sink ... trust me on this one! When you've finished polishing it all, there's nothing quite so satisfying as the lustre of old silver mixed amongst all your beautiful weensie crystal, and embroidered linens.
Just a short mini (ha!) post between a stop-over at home, and leaving for another job tomorrow. Glorious weather to work in ... finally, and just enough time in town to frolic through our annual Morro Bay citywide yard-sale last weekend! What fun, although I didn't find nearly as much as I did last year ... will post pix as soon as I return. Thanks everyone, for putting up with all this sporadic blogging ... hope to settle down, and have more time at home soon. Here's wishing everyone a sweet few weeks whilst all this lovely air is upon us and hoping too that springtime holds court longer than usual! This is my favorite season, and it seems to be rushing by way too fast for me to keep up!
A TRAY FULL OF BEAUTIFUL BABY SILVER
What a lousy record keeper I turned out to be! I'm so sorry I can't remember the name of the gentleman who made the wee cup (about the size of a pencil eraser) and porringer (charmingly dented due to an unfortunate vacuum tragedy).I suppose I thought my memory would last forever, since I hardly ever use it, but alas, no such luck. However, I do remember he was from England, and that I bought it at the 'Good Sam' show in Santa Clara, California. The practically infinitesimal, curved handled baby spoon is by Pete Aquisto, whom I'm assuming has had to order new magnifying glasses rivaling the Hubble telescope, in order to have actually crafted a pattern on the handle of it. I also have a beautiful little cup Pete made that has 'Baby' engraved on it ... yup! ... new glasses for sure! All these pieces are sterling, and another porringer I have (a bit larger than this one) has a hallmark I'm sure no human can possibly read ... Hubble or no! For those of you unfamiliar with the term porringer (pronounced poor-en-jur) ... a porringer is a little bowl with a pierced, decorative handle (or sometimes two) made for baby's bit of porridge (e.g. oatmeal, mush, cooked cereal ... remember Goldilocks?). Nowadays they are almost always done in silver or pewter, and many times a spoon, a cup or a porringer, or all three in a set, are given as traditional christening gifts, meant to endure being passed down through several generations as treasured family heirlooms. I know one family whose little silver bowl has felt the grasp of so many tiny hands you'd be hard pressed to find space enough to engrave the name and date of birth of yet one more single newborn! In colonial times and earlier, porringers were used by adults as well, and came in a variety of materials. Hand carved, turned, or shaped by hand in bone, wood, ceramics and porcelain, they rarely survived the rigors of everyday use, so much so that serviceable antique pieces like them are extremely rare today and therefore quite collectible. Okay, I've worn my brain out trying to think of all these official sounding words! So ... grateful that you all must be ... I won't even begin to go into 'pap boats' during this lifetime, or the next.