Decorating with Silver (old not new)

Does this photo appeal to you? The sight of a variety of silver picture frames or boxes creates a mood of another time. If you have a corner of your home – possibly a small side table – that would benefit from a touch of the old fashioned, look out for an old silver piece or two to set the mood.

Some large cities such as New York have stores completely devoted to old silver. The front has all the pricey products, beautifully polished and behind glass. But if you move to the back the shelves are piled high with less expensive items, often tarnished almost black.

If you’re not close to an old large city, look for silver at antique and thrift shops and antique festivals. Dusty stores with tarnished silver are your best choice for finding a bargain.

Bring a polishing cloth to enable you to look for a sterling sign. If you don’t know how to find it ask the salesperson. Every sterling piece has that symbol.

Silver plate is fine for your purpose. Use your polishing cloth to make sure it’s still thick enough to shine up without showing base metal underneath. Would you like a frame like one of these? Maybe a serving spoon or two? How about a silver plate to showcase holiday cookies? Take your time finding the right choice for you – the search is half the fun.

When you bring it home don’t make the mistake of using liquid or paste polishes – you will lose the patina that old silver carries. A polishing cloth will let the carved bits retain their darkness so that you can really appreciate the details.

You may have a modern house with tile or stone floors or a more traditional home with carpeting or wood, but in either case, one or two pieces of old silver can add sparkle and personality during the holidays or at any time.