Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Hotel Silver

via Pinterest

A small Glen View Club individual coffee or teapot.

Have you started 
for hotel 
S I L V E R?

The Plaza Hotel 

It has become
more and more
collectible in recent years
and I have noticed that
I seem to find it in spurts.

Right now ---
  seeing a lot of it
 which makes me very happy.

For me, it's all about the patina.

Country Living


Love it.

via Pinterest

It looks fantastic next to
white ironstone
since they are both have clean
simple but sturdy lines.
When you pick a piece up,
it is heavy and it just feels good 
in your hands.

Hotel silver creamer.

I love most anything silver or silver-plated,
but I have never liked pewter.
It is a little too primitive, 
a little too cold and gray -- 
a tad bit too "Puritan" for my tastes.
(No offense to any Puritans out there:
 big fan of your buckled shoes -- seriously!
Still waiting for a good pair of THOSE to show up on Ebay ...)

But anyway,
I like a little more pizzazz   
a little more sparkle and shine.

Okay, so there is no actual silver on the table here , but I loved this photo!

1930s Sterling Silver Biltmore Hotel Key Fob 09000LG-BQ2647
Biltmore Hotel via Pinterest

So when I bought my first pieces
of hotel silver about 4-5 years ago,
I fell in love. I got three of these
little open lidded soup bowls with handles -- 
or at least I think they are soup bowls?

Look at that patina!

It's sturdy and practically indestructible.
It polishes up well and comes in great
traditional shapes. It rides nicely through the automatic
dishwasher and seems to enjoy it, frankly.

Much of it carries a history
and/or a logo to identify it as to belonging to
a hotel, a railroad, a steam ship, a private club, 
or a restaurant from a bygone era.
So much history with each piece.

Chicago Pullman Dining Car, C. 1937 --
Photo credit: http://chuckmanchicagonostalgia.wordpress.com

Plaza Hotel via Pinterest

A little history I found 
for those of you who care to know.
(Feel free to skip over this part if you don't!)

Hotel silver was made to last the ages, made of durable copper composition plated with a heavy layer of soldered nickel silver. Each piece was made to last several years 
with a remarkably fine appearance and very durable.
Even though many of the grand hotels of our country's history are forever gone, several still live on in the United States and continue to operate today restored to their original grandeur. 

The Palace Hotel in the 1970's, San Francisco

Some of these magnificent hotels include the The Plaza Hotel, Hotel Pennsylvania, and The Commodore, New York The Biltmore Hotel chains, the Stevens and Palmer House Hotels of Chicago, the Grand Hotel at Mackinaw Island, Michigan, and the Henry Flagler of Florida's east coast. 

There are countless other hotels that had special sets 
made for their businesses and these were common in 
both the larger cities and smaller towns and cities as well.

Old HOTEL SEMINOLE Reed & Barton TEA SPOON Triplex Silver Plate HOTELWARE Ware

Even the smallest hotels could have marked silver plate, which included their name or logo on the side or top, or an item may have just been marked with the hotel's name on the bottom. This is also one of the characteristics that make hotel silver so dynamic. Constantly, new hotel names on silver serving pieces and flatware are being discovered. Given the vast numbers of hotels that once operated in the United States and Canada, there will continue to be new discoveries of pieces for the years to come. 

Many of the silver plate manufacturer's records of what hotels, restaurants, lunch counters, etc., ordered marked silver plate are forever lost. 

In the late 19th to middle part of the 20th Century, hotel silver was expensive, but considered a necessity for this type of  business. Today, it would be cost prohibitive for a hotel to have the intricate, heavy silver plate pieces that once graced the tables of most American hotels and upscale restaurants.

Broadmoor Hotel silver


The list of Hotel Silver manufacturers is quite extensive, which includes the largest of the manufactures down to the even the smallest silver smith shops. Gotham, R. Wallace, Meridian - Britannia, Gorham, International Silver, Reed & Barton, Rogers Bros., and many others. Most hotel silver was marked with the hotel's logo, name, or markings by the manufacturer. However, some hotels did wish to have unmarked silver plate that did not have their name or crest upon a piece, and some of the smaller hotels and businesses with smaller inventory would have their local jeweler or engraver individually mark their pieces.

Part of my little collection of creamers on a hotel silver oval platter.

Oval hotel solver charger topped with a white ironstone oval plate
and topped again with a small oval hotel silver plate.

Have you started
for hotel silver?



Salmagundi said...

I haven't started mining yet, but I would like to! Enjoyed this post - loved the info provided, and the photos were great, as always. Sally

therelishedroost said...

Love this, I find silver so elegant and yet depending on style can work well in casual settings too!

Pamela Gordon said...

This is a great post Alison. Thanks for sharing the history of hotel silver and all the photos. Your own silver is beautiful. I don't have any and have never seen any in person but it would be kind of fun to have one piece from a famous hotel. Blessings, Pamela

Ron said...

Oh my! Something else that I need to collect. I love hotel silver. Great post, Alison!

Elizabeth@ Pine Cones and Acorns said...

I love hotel silver and have a few pieces but frankly I have so many collections I am being over run by them. Love your collection.

Brion R. Judge said...

What a fabulous post Alison. I knew of hotel silver but never really knew anything about it, thank you so very much for sharing this information. Perhaps I will start looking for a few pieces..one can never have to much silver.

Designs By Pinky said...

I love it!!! I don't have any but certainly don't need ANOTHER collection:):) I will just have to admire yours! XO, Pinky

Karen said...

Alison, I love hotel silver, I have a couple of treasured pieces. I'm always on the lookout. You have featured some really pretty pieces.

The enchanted home said...

LOVE this post because I too am crazy for hotel silver. Am lucky to own several pieces....and honestly could probably open a silver rental business...lol. A definite addiction! I am also not a huge fan of pewter except for the pewter chargers but much prefer silver.....beautiful post and fascinating history which I knew nothing about! Enjoy your day....

Katie Clooney said...

What a fabulous post!! Now I want to go out and start hunting some down.

Terri ~the dressed up cottage said...

There's two things I love about Hotel silver, one are the simple clean lines and the sturdiness of the item, and secondly: there is usually a monogram or writing of some sort on the item as well. Two passions at once for the collector like me. :)

Yvonne @ StoneGable said...

I adore hotel silver. I love it's heavy feel and tough personality! I have a couple pieces and am always on the lookout for more!!! Thanks so much for the great information!

Sarah said...

You've done it again! This post is full of beauty, excellent information, and loads of inspiration. Only have a few pieces of hotel silver here, but would love to add more. All metals are welcome in our home. We have some pewter pieces from France and Italy that rival silver. '-)
Thanks for sharing, Alison. Terrific post! ~ Sarah

vignette design said...

What a beautiful post Allison! I haven't started mining yet, but do have some fabulous pieces I inherited from my mother-in-law. I want to start collecting but am running out of display room. Would love a coffee pot though from a famous hotel in SF or France. Someday....!

Penny @ The Comforts of Home/From Harvest To Table said...

I would love to start mining it, but I never see it while out antiquing :-(. Loved this post...very informative.

Nancy said...

Love it; heavy, classic and historical. Have a great weekend.
xo Nancy

Sherry @ No Minimalist Here said...

Hi Alison, I also love hotel silver but I only have a couple of pieces of flatware. It seems to be harder to find now and the prices can be exorbitant.

Patricia Todovich said...

That Broadmoor Hotel creamer and sugar was purchased from my Etsy shop @ www.etsy.com/shop/coloradofinds !!!

Patricia Todovich said...

That Broadmoor Hotel silver creamer and sugar came from my Etsy shop @ www.etsy.com/shop/Coloradofinds. I purchased it at the last Broadmoor Hotel auction held in the old Garage the day before it was demolished over 10 years ago.

Estate Sterling said...

Wow! I love these amazing pieces of Sterling Silver Cutlery which is very elegant and exquisite items for table setting. These kinds of sterling flatware have elegant addition to any dinnerware pattern.