EXQUISITE SILVER - Precious Handcrafted Sterling
by Kaya Morgan
In a land where silver has become readily available, the average American enjoys possessions that in days gone by were only owned by royalty and the wealthy aristocracy. Nowhere in the world is silver so attainable as it is today. It has been desired and cherished perhaps more than any other metal throughout history.
Dating back to Biblical times, upon greeting a guest, the supreme representation of friendship was to offer a silver goblet from which to drink and quench one's thirst. When Homer sang in ancient Greece, listeners toasted his immortal lyrics by drinking from vessels wrought of silver. And, the two trumpets that guided the ancient Israelites from Egypt into the Land of Promise, were told to be fashioned of solid silver.
Across the centuries, many images of gods and goddesses of antiquity were carved in silver. Temples were richly adorned with it. An all-important part of religious ritual in ancient times, silver was carried through by extensive use in churches, cathedrals, temples and mosques. Empires rose and fell, civilizations flourished and decayed, but the reign of silver known as the "Queen of Metals" its value reached almost legendary proportions and with glory undimmed, its prestige remains unchallenged.
Silver's estate value continues to this very day as objects, considered precious heirlooms, are handed down from generation to generation. It has earned the reputation as the metal of gracious living a stamp not merely of wealth but of culture. Whenever we seek to imbue our lives and homes with lasting loveliness, silver is the honored metal of choice.
Were we to walk through a gallery of paintings, or study the decorative motifs of successive periods, we would glean much about the customs and historic currents that wove the background of an artisan's life - coloring their thoughts and motivating their expressions.
Over the years, designers have utilized historical influences to create timeless patterns that reflect the character of our country. The spirit of American freedom is interpreted in the Grand Baroque pattern through a mood of lavishness and romance, wit and merriment that highlights the sophistication of today. The delicate nuances of shade and light, the exquisite carving and playful open work, help make Grande Baroque the most glorious sterling pattern of all time. It's animated design carries even to the functional bowls and tines.
Today, the tendency to regard early American times as a period of quaintness and nostalgia has virtually disappeared. The inspiration we now draw from it is one of vitality and freshness for the men and women whose courage and foresight built this country invested their art and culture with similar originality and daring.
With no aristocracy or firmly established traditions to mould their creative endeavors, early American craftsmen revealed a refreshing response to the dynamic new forces surrounding them. Even though social patterns followed, in great part, those of the splendor of European design, the arts and crafts of the colonial era have their own character and charm, distinctly American.
In the South particularly, where a gentler climate and generous soil produced the precious gift of leisure, social horizons reached lofty proportions. By the middle of the 18th century, the South had evolved its own design of gracious living. Large homes of quiet dignity with balanced, symmetrical proportions studded the landscape. Not only the rooms of the house were designed in scale, but all the accoutrements that went into it. The formal tranquility of the manor was repeated in the garden, neatly patterned into a specific, mathematical design
These plantation manors became the focal points of merriment and gala hospitality. At certain times of the season, particularly when court or the assembly was in session, social life rose to a brilliant crescendo. Private homes and hostelries were filled to overflowing with distinguished guests desirous to partake in the season's festivities.
Dinners became an opulent rite, served under glittering candelabras, with massive bouquets of richly-scented flowers and graceful silver accoutrements adorning the table. Huge silver platters with all manner of fish and fowl, delectably prepared, extended the table's length. Minuets and other formal dances that started in the early evening generally continued until the serving of supper at midnight.
The stately elegance that colored this period of American history has been extolled in silver exclusively by Wallace. Their Grand Colonial is a re-creation of the colonial motif in the grandest manner. With its rhythmic silhouette and harmonious proportions, it brings to the modern table a glorified version of the colonial fiddle motif in a mood of tranquility.
A glowing opalescent finish distinguishes the Grand Colonial pattern from all others. Crowned with a sparkling petal scroll tip, it displays to advantage the fully-formed contours of its design. Lovely from every view, the hand-wrought quality adds so much to its authenticity.
Whether pouring morning coffee, or reigning as the ultimate host or hostess at a very special dinner party, your silver is a reflection of the value you place on the quality, beauty and romance incorporated into your daily life. That's why your personal silver pattern should be selected with care and attention. So, choosing your sterling pattern should be an exciting and important adventure!
With 30 patterns available, one of the advantages of purchasing your sterling silver from an outstanding silversmith like Wallace is that their patterns continue throughout the years. As you pass your valued heirloom collection to the next generation, the patterns remain available and can be replaced or new pieces added indefinitely.
To order a catalog call 617.561.2200 or at www.wallacesilver.com
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