Community Silverplate

Friday, March 11, 2011




For my wedding my grandmother {my mother's mom} gave me her set of silver. She told me the story of how she collected coupons to get the set. The story is very foggy for me and I don't really remember all the details. In fact I kind of forgot about it. I was given my set of Williams Sonoma 'everyday stainless' for our wedding as well and had the box of silver under my bed. I didn't really think of using it everyday. When my grandmother died this summer I thought of that silver. I thought of what a big deal it was for her to give it to me and in many ways I had a heavy heart that it had been living unloved. Since then I have used it everyday. I so wished I could have talked to her more about those coupons. When did she collect them? What kind of coupons were they? Was the silver something in her hope chest or did she collect it when she was already married? I often get sad that I wasn't more 'present' when she told me the story. I wish I hadn't have taken the moment for granted.
On Monday {I promise this has a point} my dad came to dinner and saw my silverware. He told me that he had the same silverware when he was a kid. He didn't know the story of the coupons but I couldn't wait to call my grandmother {my dad's mom} and ask her all about it. She told me the story of the coupons. She thinks it was part of a cereal campaign - like Kellog - that you could collect the coupons on the box to get a peice of silver. When she was engaged to my grandfather she was a teacher and her students threw her a shower {isn't that sweet}. They had all collected the coupons for her and collectively got her a set of Community Silverplate. They had the letter "B" engraved for her new married name. This led me to believe that my other grandmother wasn't married yet when she collected for the silver because there wasn't a monogram, maybe she didn't know what her last name would be. I think it is amazing that two grandmother's picked the same style - Morning Star - and that both had recieved it through coupons. I now know something that I will be digging for at flea markets and thrift stores. Ask your grandma maybe she had it too.

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  1. I just adore family treasures like these...lovely set - even the name is wonderful 'Morning Star'...and how sweet that both grandmothers chose the same style!

  2. I think it is great that you pulled out something special to use everyday. I never understand why people save stuff for special occasions. Life is short, make everyday a special occasion!

    Sweet story!

  3. What a sweet story!!
    Have a great weekend,

  4. This is such a beautiful story. I love the way it unfolded with your dad recognizing the silverware. I'll be keeping my eye out for those advertisements now.

  5. Love that story! Both of my grandmas chose the same silver pattern as well. My mom has all of it now. I'll have to find the name of the pattern.

  6. such a sweet story and a good life lesson for all. I've also got the "mahogony box of silverplate" tucked away from my husband's mother and this makes me think we should start to use it as well! How do you clean it (of course; thinking if I can throw it in the dishwasher?)

  7. lovely story and so glad you use them daily ~ life is too short to 'wait for special occasions'.

    we are in Georgia now visiting family, and i'm looking forward to soaking up all the stories i can from my grandparents.

  8. You can totally put it in the dishwasher... the rule is that nothing stainless can be near it... so if you have a utensil basket just make sure that the stainless is a cup or two away. As for cleaning once or twice a year you can dip it into "Goddard's Silver Dip." I put as many pieces as I can fit. I do one side and then flip them over. Then once all the pieces are done I throw them in the dishwasher. SUPER easy.

  9. Alexis, What a beautiful story! How serendipitous that all of the missing pieces to your mom's mom story about the silver were answered my your dad's mom. When ever I am with my grandparents, I find myself asking them a million questions about their life and the things they cherish the most. I truly believe that there is something so unique, precious, and almost forgotten about a generation of people that lived so differently than we do today. I think we can all learn so much from the stories of our ancestors, and pass them on to our children. Your silver is a beautiful reminder of this. Have a lovely weekend with your beautiful family! xo Samantha

  10. I feel like I've heard of this coupon thing before? Love that you put them aside and realized later how much you appreciated saving them. This is such a great story - the add you included is awesome too. This post was especially intriguing to me because I also uncovered an old chair and lamp I kept after my grandmother passed that I thought I'd gotten rid of. I was so happy to find them last week in the attic at my mother's house (to be shared in future post)

    Cheers to these wonderful old treasures. x

  11. What a heartwarming story and post- thanks for sharing! So special!

  12. alexis! just checked and mine is "evening star" and granny even kept all the paperwork/info about it. If you would like me to scan it/send it to you (has pics basically and original prices at that time) I would be happy to email it. My husband said he remembers all the coupons and what people would save for to earn. He also tells about how Clark gas stations would give away a glass when you would fill up (that he eventually took to college)
    ps. hmmmm...I have a stainless steel dishwasher...this doesn't sound good, does it?!

  13. What a precious story! My grandmother gifted me her Christmas china...because she told me she knew I would entertain {something which I now smile when I think about!}. She passed last year around this time....and I'm so grateful for her gift! We'll always be able to remember her during the holidays...and all year round! xoxo {av}

  14. I would totally buy cereal if these kinds of coupon campaigns still existed. I love the things they used to giveaway back in the day.

    This is such a sweet story, and it warms my hear to know that you are now using these everyday. Life is too short, and each day you spend with your beautiful family is a celebration...although it doesn't always feel that way. {wink}

  15. so sweet i think using silver everyday should happen all the time..we don't "entertain' like they used too, so its nice to use your silver with a bowl of cereal!

  16. So lovely, Alexis, and such a beautiful reminder to live each day, today.

  17. love this story, alexis!! thanks for sharing:)

  18. Hi Alexis,
    Not sure if you remember me, but I am a friend of Bob and Laura Randolph's...we met at the Halloween bash. Anywho, I have been following your blog everyday since the party and I must say, I check it daily! It's so fun to read your posts and see your pictures, ideas, recipes etc. You are amazingly creative! I told Laura that I am obsessed with checking in everyday to see what your latest "doings" are.

    On this topic though, my husband is a precious metals buyer and he said he sees this silver all the time. They don't buy it b/c it's plated, but he said it's very common that people bring it in. We both really appreciated the story though...for him, knowing the history behind it, for me, I have a love for "family heritage" and things being passed down to me from family, so this was a very special story that touched home for me. In fact, I am calling my Nana tomorrow to see if she has any :)

    Anyway, thanks for starting such an amazing blog that we all reap so many benefits from!! I will continue to follow! :)


  19. Hi Alexis,
    The only silverware I have is my silver. Why eat on anything else?
    I am sitting guard as I have been for a while. Gary said he could feel his spirit leaving on Monday and each day he gets a little weaker. I should have kept a diary of all of this but maybe I will want to erase as much of the sick as possible.
    I really miss you. Congratulations on the baby!


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