Creative ways to display flatware?
July 16, 2008 1:31 PM   Subscribe

Creative ways to display flatware?

I was recently given a beautiful set of 1940s silverware, and I don't want to stick it in a drawer and pull them out once a year. We'll be using these all the time, and I want to find a nice way to display them, but have them easy to access.
posted by OLechat to Home & Garden (12 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Wouldn't using them it 3 meals a day be sufficiently displaying it? If you want to go beyond that, do you have a dining room you don't use except for more formal meals? If so, you could just leave the table set, along with nice china and glassware.
posted by beagle at 1:39 PM on July 16, 2008

If they aren't in a cantine then you could purchase one, modern or antique. If you can identify the pattern and maker it may even be possible to track down the original cantine, and display them in that.
posted by fire&wings at 1:51 PM on July 16, 2008

I would buy a beautiful flatware box that could be from the 1940s or by the same maker of the flatware. eBay is a good place to start, searching for "Flatware box" or "Flatware chest" will bring up many options...look for one without the flatware included (obviously!) I believe Pottery Barn has a nice one too but is pricier than the ones on Ebay. Look for something that is real wood, with the tarnish-free cloth inside.

I recently received my great-grandparents wedding silverware and I bought a flatware chest (with a drawer for the serving pieces) off of eBay what I bought to preserve the beautiful pieces. I keep the box in my dining room, and I am very happy with this solution.
posted by elgalan207 at 1:51 PM on July 16, 2008

I would display them on the table standing upright in three pretty vessels that show them off well--like a clear, low glass cylinder. (I think it used to be common for spoons to be stored like this all the time, but what do I know). Since you'll be using them every day, they shouldn't get dusty even though they're sitting out all the time.
posted by folara at 2:34 PM on July 16, 2008

There is a danger of looking too much like a catalog page, but maybe...nice photos of the flatware displayed in various arrangements or really close shots of those details you especially like on the flatware. You could display in your kitchen or dining room.
posted by PY at 4:20 PM on July 16, 2008

Some of the chunky French jelly-jar glasses would hold flatware nicely on a counter or table.
posted by theora55 at 4:26 PM on July 16, 2008

Not to go all new-agey on you, but displaying sharp long objects will get you into all sorts of feng shui trouble, in particular the suggestion to stand them up in jars. This can look nice, but you're either shooting poison arrows all over the place or sending your chi in weird directions. (I am not a complete crackpot, but I play one on AskMe. ;) The best suggestion here is to just use them for meals whenever you have guests. If you want them seen when you have guests who aren't there to eat, displaying them flat in a beautiful box is the next best suggestion upthread.

Even better would be to create a "ready to use" display on a sideboard of the presentation pieces like pie/cake servers, serving spoons, etc, where you could see the pattern, but the problematic sharp pieces would remain in storage. When/if people comment on these, you could then let them know that you have an entire beautiful set that you are very proud of, and would love to share. This display should be in the dining room rather than a conversation or living area, where displays related to food will direct peoples' thoughts away from conversation and onto eating.
posted by nax at 4:46 PM on July 16, 2008

I display/store all of my silverware in an antique silvered honey jar and it looks beautiful - an unusual and unique bouquet.
posted by arnicae at 4:48 PM on July 16, 2008

I think it used to be common for spoons to be stored like this all the time

Folora is correct, flatware used to be commonly displayed in special jars called "spooners". I inherited one from my grandmother that matches this exactly. You can see others here.

I don't have a lot invested in Feng Shui, myself. YMMV.

Or you can buy/make a long, narrow shadowbox to either hang on a wall or set on a sideboard or place in the middle of the table. Or use a shadowbox-like case, such as this one.
posted by jeanmari at 5:21 PM on July 16, 2008

I'd be okay with spoons from a feng shui standpoint (and the spooner thing is amazing-- we thought our modern society was the master of the useless object, but the Victorians could really teach us a thing or two). Very cool. Why I love MetaFilter.
posted by nax at 6:34 AM on July 17, 2008

This seems incredibly obvious, but how about keeping the table set? Definitely easy to access.
posted by yohko at 4:29 PM on July 17, 2008

how about one of the coffee tables that have a glass top over a velvet lined display area? still easy to get to it to set the table but you don't get much more "displayed"
posted by Redhush at 5:37 PM on July 18, 2008

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