What’s your pattern?

Laurey W. Glenn

Company’s coming. 

You’re setting the table.

You know what that means.

It’s time to bring out The Good Silver.

The Good Silver is a Southern stalwart. It gleams next to our plates at Christmas dinners, Thanksgiving lunches, and countless special events in between. The Good Silver flanks The Good China, the shiny, un-chipped plates and bowls that you carefully unpack whenever the occasion arises. This is the fancy stuff, the items you put on your wedding registry and received wrapped in beautiful boxes and tied with crisp bows just before your wedding day. Southerners appreciate The Good Silver.

When you’ve cooked all day, and it’s finally time to celebrate, you know The Good Silver will be making an appearance. Southerners enjoy nice things, but we know that we enjoy our nice things even more when we use them. That’s why The Good Silver never stays packed away for long. We’ve learned all the tips and tricks we need to keep our silver sparkling, because we never know when we’ll need it. After dinners, we carefully polish it and store it until the next Southern soiree.

The Good Silver is either plated or sterling, with a gorgeous pattern engraved in the handle of each piece of flatware. Sometimes silver is passed down through the generations. Other Southerners collect it all their lives, beginning with single utensils gifted on birthdays and at Christmas.

What’s your pattern? The style names are so dreamy, you may want a little of everything. What with Classic Rose (Reed and Barton), Damask Rose (Oneida), and Buttercup (Gorham Silver), you may think your flatware is more suited to life in your garden than at your table.

More than a few Southerners love Francis I by Reed and Barton, an ornate design that’s grand and dramatic. Francis I is not for the faint of heart. And who can forget Repousse by Kirk Stieff? Each handle of Repousee is an intricate, embossed garden. Even more Southerners favor Old Master by Towle, which is an undeniable classic. 

There are more than a few situations in which The Good Silver should make an appearance. Not only that, it might just save the day. Start with dinner with the in-laws, Easter lunch, fancy birthday meal, and a white-tablecloth dinner with colleagues. A rule of thumb: If company’s coming, it’s probably time for The Good Silver. 

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What’s your favorite silver pattern? Do you have a rule of thumb for when to use The Good Silver? We bet you do, because this Southern tradition is tried and true.