What will many flea market and antique dealers tell you is a tough item to sell these days? Silver.
No one wants to have to polish it!
I certainly couldn't see myself polishing silver, but then these two champagne buckets caught my eye. They were $10! How can you beat that for affordable elegance? (I must point out here that the champagne buckets are only silver plate and not sterling silver, but hey, I was after style on a budget.)
After that, I started to see silver in a whole new light.
Let me state at the onset of this post, that I am not suggesting you take up polishing silver knives, forks and spoons as a hobby. I am sure you have way better things to do with what little free time you have available.
I think that you are smart to pass on any small, high maintenance items like cutlery.
A few larger pieces however, might light up your holiday table or add some panache to your mantel display. Silver is classic. It adds sparkle and a touch of sophistication.
And the best reason of all that I can suggest for reconsidering silver? Because it is not popular at the moment, you can often find silver for a song.
I don't imagine that I will use my two $10 silver buckets not for champagne. How often do I serve champagne after all? Instead, I will use them to dress up potted plants and bulbs.
Here, I just dropped the plastic pot in and let it catch on the sides of the silver bucket. (To water the cyclamen, I would suggest that you carefully remove it from the silver champagne bucket, water the plant, and let the it drain in the sink before re-interting it back into the silver bucket.)
Just image how great the silver bucket will look with a potted amaryllis this holiday season!
This is an old silver pitcher that was probably used in an upscale restaurant to serve fresh ice
water to patrons. Cost $7.
Spring flowers look great in it.
Add some white mums, evergreen boughs, a few stems of red berries and the water pitcher becomes a nice arrangement for the holiday season.
This large silver tray cost $8 (again silver plate, not sterling silver). In my house, it will probably never be perfectly polished. I like the way a bit of patina brings out the decorative pattern of the tray (or at least that is my excuse anyway).
We often watch television in the third floor attic, and so I use trays to carry drinks or a snack to the third floor.
A silver tray might also be useful for serving coffee in the living room after a holiday meal or perhaps might be used to group cups or glasses into an orderly presentation on a buffet table.
While I can be fussy to buy for, when it comes to perfume, I like just about anything. So for years my husband gave me perfume for Christmas. The collection of bottles began to looked messy on the top of our bureau, so I organized them in a small round tray. Silver tray $2.
I may not be willing to polish knives and forks, but I am up to polishing a fancy serving spoon in order to impart a bit of glamour into a store bought pie. I personally don't think it even matters if the spoon matches the rest of your flatware.
For those of you reluctant to do even the smallest amount of silver polishing, mercury glass makes a great stand-in and has all the same holiday sparkle.
I got these little glass vases at the local grocery store for $3.99. They came decorated with a pinecone and faux evergreen bough that was tied onto the vase with a piece of raffia. I think that a group of these vases would look great scattered down the length of a holiday table.
Where can you find similar silver pieces? Watch for silver items at flea markets, thrift stores and even garage sales (my $2 tray was a garage sale find).