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Three Tatler friends share their best tips and tricks on how to care for their well-loved silverware

Elegant silverware is a boon to the dining table. It adds a touch of elegance to even the simplest of repasts and makes for wonderful heritage pieces to be passed down from generation to generation.

However, collectors also acknowledge that with these beautiful items come a great responsibility to care for them. Three Tatler friends and ladies bring us into their homes to show us some of their favourites, and give us top tips and tricks on how to keep silverware in tiptop shape. 

Read more: Add Depth and Elegance to Your Home–This is Where to buy Wallpaper in Metro Manila

Alicia Colby Sy

Where is your favourite place to look for/purchase vintage silverware?

I enjoy looking for vintage silver pieces just about anywhere. European and American flea markets and antique stores are wonderful places to spend time in when visiting but I also love looking at places like Bergdorf Goodman in New York. On the seventh floor, they (Bergdorf Goodman) carry vintage serving pieces that are beautifully displayed alongside new items so it teaches me also how to mix and match with style. There used to be this store called Fortunoff on Fifth Avenue that sold vintage silver on its top floor and the selection was exquisite (other floors sold new houseware items at multiple price points) You can also find nice pieces at auction from the major auction houses and online at 1stdibs.com.

Locally, there are some online merchants like Paris Brocante and  Paris Vintage FInds that sell gorgeous curated items. AC +632 also carries some nice vintage silver pieces as well. Oh, and Mentxaca at the DPC building along Pasong Tamo Extension. Doody Tuason is the epitome of style and good taste and her curated selection is impeccable.

Which piece is the most sentimental in your collection?

I have these fish knives that I purchased in a vintage shop in London that I love. It was one of those things that I stumbled upon the right place at the right time.

How often and when do you bring out or use your vintage silverware?

I use some pieces daily like my milk/creamers and some forks and knives, while others are reserved for special occasions.

How does one take care of vintage silverware? How do you keep yours in tiptop condition?

Admittedly, I could probably do better taking care of my pieces but honestly I just wash them with soapy water, and every so often  (bot too frequently)  we rub them with a silver cloth and/or polish (I use Wright's or Hagerty silver cream). I read that silver should not be shined that often. I also keep some items stored in cloth bags in a dark storage area. 

Irene Martel Francisco

Where is your favourite place to look for/purchase vintage silverware?

I have collected my pieces over many years. I like buying from certain dealers who I know well in the Marche de Puces in Paris. There is so much to be found in Isle Sur La Sorgue in Provence, and very reasonably priced. Then, the London Silver Vaults is a treasure trove of antique and vintage silver. Expensive, but the best if you are looking for sterling silver.

In Manila, you can buy from Paris Brocante and Paris Vintage Finds. Both on Instagram. But there is nothing like the fun of sourcing these pieces on your own and collecting a little at a time.

Which piece is the most sentimental in your collection?

I love all my pieces as they remind me of a particular time and place where I got them. I have a file with photos of my pieces so I know exactly what I have. The most sentimental pieces are gifts from my husband. He knows how much I love vintage silver.

How often and when do you bring out or use your vintage silverware?

We use our silver pieces at home daily. It’s not kept for special occasions at all! I buy pieces that can be easily integrated into how we serve at home. 

How does one take care of vintage silverware? How do you keep yours in tiptop condition?

I find that regular polishing with a good piece of cleaning cloth and silver polish is a must. It will keep your silver in good shape. I also keep them in felt bags or boxes when am not using them. I rotate my pieces so all get used at home. Over time, you will get normal wear and tear that is consistent with use. Vintage silver is not supposed to look like it’s brand new. The patina your pieces have adds to its charm.

See also: 7 Popular Coffee Tables For Your Living Room

Monique Borja

Where is your favourite place to look for/purchase vintage silverware?

We used to frequent London with my husband, and this is where I first fell in love with all things vintage. From silverware to tassels, cabinets and footstools.

Etsy is an endless highway to vintage finds. Instagram also has many accounts of ladies reselling from estate sales in the US, or brocantes from Paris and elsewhere. You need to be extra lucky to catch their “fresh drops”, balancing your focus on their sales with time differences and your day job. 

How often and when do you bring out or use your vintage silverware?

I used to reserve using our silver for holidays or for hosting dinners, celebrating occasions. However, I decided to use some pieces on the daily. A small and intricate silver tray is now used for serving coffee; silver and crystal coasters we use everyday, lined with fun coloured crochet coasters.

How does one take care of vintage silverware? How do you keep yours in tiptop condition?

I follow simple steps from Rau antiques rauantiques.com.

What are the common problems that befall silverware pieces and how can we avoid these?

Owning silver comes with responsibility as they often tarnish. Silver dishes, cups, salt cellars, flatware that is put away can come in contact with moisture and start showing grey or black stains. Silver cleaning is part of our routine at home, I maybe do it every three to four months. Most of our silver is used and not really stored in display cabinets, so the cleaning is done more frequently. For silver that is stored, I discovered an inexpensive way of maintaining condition by putting a small piece of chalk will absorb moisture and slow tarnishing. I also use anti-tarnish strips, silica gel and for some pieces use silver cloth liners and bags.

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