We’ve been so excited about our new spoon jewelry collection that we couldn’t contain all of our excitement in just one blog! Diving into the history that inspired these beautiful pieces has been such a joy. We just had to share more of what we’ve found with you!
Happy holidays everyone! With the Christmas and holiday season upon us, we know that shopping for the perfect gift might be at the top of your list. One of the greatest things we love to give our customers is a beautifully crafted piece that has a story to tell. The surrounding Lowcountry is full of constant inspiration to make something beautiful, but it’s the potential of what these beautiful things leave with you that we try to capture in each of our pieces. Our spoon jewelry collection was no exception, each piece has a story behind it. If you read our latest blog, you read about three very interesting designs that held a lot of information and history. With so many new pieces in this collection, we couldn’t stop with just that one blog post. We had to continue sharing these timeless stories that help our pieces become timeless treasures.
This time we are going to start from the very beginning. We will be exploring the history of sterling silver and why it became such a popular material for the flatware that inspired our jewelry today. We will also be exploring the history behind our Gorham Strasbourg sterling silver earrings and our Towle Old Colonial salt spoon earrings.
Everything’s Coming Up Sterling!
Forks, spoons, and knives – oh my! Before the dawning of cutlery, we used our hands and fingers to eat and drink. But as our tastes and knowledge progressed, the birth of what would become the modern-day cutlery began. Did you know that the oldest eating implement, second to our hands, is the spoon? The fork and knife were introduced much later. Starting with natural crude implements like shells tied on sticks, spoons and other cutlery were made from all kinds of materials. Many of these materials didn’t last long nor could they keep up with the wear and tear of everyday eating. Silver was introduced into the world of cutlery, and everything changed. Forks and spoons were made by silversmiths and knives were made by cutlers. It started as a material used only for the wealthy, but once the Industrial Revolution began (1760-1840s), everything changed again. It was discovered that once you added alloys to silver, the substance became harder and almost indestructible. Cutlery made from this substance could keep up with the everyday wear and tear and be soft enough to create beautiful designs upon it. The industrial Revolution also ushered in another wave of pomp and circumstance, especially in the dining room. Meals were lavish and almost staged like a theatrical production. The dishes that held them and the tools that served them needed to be just as fancy. It was common to have many sets of flatware to show off your wealth. The more intricate, the better. The Industrial Revolution allowed for these beautiful sets of silver flatware to be produced in much larger quantities, so the rich and famous weren’t the only ones who could have these beautiful pieces. The sterling silver flatware was now being decorated with leaves and scrollwork. They were reflecting the grand interior designs of the time as well. The need to show off while dinging also lead to the creation and invention of eating tools for every kind of food and food service possible, like the salt spoon, the shrimp fork, and salad fork. Thus the inspiration for our beautiful pieces began!
Gorham Strasbourg Sterling Silver Earrings
The Gorham Manufacturing Company was started in 1831 when Jabez Gorham and Henry Webster partnered to found the company in Providence, Rhode Island. They were originally makers of coin-silver flatware, buttons, combs, thimbles, and other small items. Everything changed with the introduction of the Industrial Revolution and when Jabez’s son, Jon, took over the company when he retired. He brought the company into the world of the modern-day factory and high production that the Industrial Revolution was known for. He also hired incredible artists and craftsmen to design new flatware. The Strasbourg design was created and patented in 1897. It is a beautiful pattern that is known for its glossy finish, playful scrollwork, and plum design. It was also inspired by the masters of design from the Louie XV period. To this day it has remained a popular design for wedding registries and year-round entertaining.
Towle Old Colonial Salt Spoon Earring
This beautiful design was created and patented in 1895 by Towle Silversmiths. Today this design is considered a “made to order” item, and is only newly made when commissioned when you aren’t buying antique. To this day it is still the longest-running design of the company and has an extensive number of specialized settings. Designed by Lucien D. Cole, it was inspired by elements of 18th century Philadelphia furniture. It has a beautiful glossy finish with beads and a pointed tip. These elements are also found on the handles. The design showcases a scroll design and a delicate piercing. With it being a “made to order” item, it can take between 4-6 weeks to 6 months to have the new flatware set commissioned and created.
Our spoon jewelry is not only beautiful to look at, it quietly has a stunning story to tell. Before looking into the backstory of each piece, you can quietly hear a story needing to be told just by looking at each design. When giving gifts this year, give something that your loved ones will remember forever with a story that needs to be remembered.