SO MANY FUNCTIONAL AND DECORATIVE SHAPES
SO MANY DIFFERENT METALS AND PRICE RANGES
Every homemaker from newly-wed to empty-nester— uses serve-ware everyday. Documented exhibitions of metal wares—from ceremonial to functional— bring record-breaking crowds to art galleries and museums.
Celebrated for centuries, metal serve-ware is a category ‘apart’.
But excellent serve-ware is also made of glass and ceramics.
(Visit my Glassware and Ceramic Dinnerware Posts.)
What metal serve-ware should YOU choose?
Differentiate serve-ware YOU want and need for daily use
— from serve-ware YOU want and need for entertaining.
Many metal serve-ware products work well for both.
Metal serve-ware lasts many lifetimes: invest in styles you really like!
Your personal lifestyle should determine which metals and functional shapes are best for you, e.g. If you like to serve ‘oven-to-table’ , some of today’s quality cookware even have decorative holders that eliminate a need for trivets.
Style, cost and maintenance will impact your selections.
If your taste is eclectic,
a baroque silver compote can look wonderful on a contemporary coffee table.
decide if you have time to perform required maintenance.
Sterling and silver-plated serve-ware is not only costly,
it requires regular maintenance.
But if you prefer the tradition and elegance of these wares, know that current production of new sterling and silver-plated hollow-ware is minimal: prices are high.
However, if you want to buy silver serve-ware, many traditional retail stores currently feature vintage silver-ware next to selections of new silver serve-ware —and quality vintage and used silver serve-ware is available in flea markets, charity bazaars, estate sales and thrift shops.
Be prepared:shopping these markets requires patience.
Be sure to have a magnifying glass—and a lot of UNBIASED product knowledge.
- Sterling or silver-plate must be washed and thoroughly dried by hand after use.
- Sulphur in the air tarnishes silver— so silver products should be properly stored between uses.
- Special wrappings and/or air-tight cupboards discourage tarnish.
- Plan adequate storage for metal serve-ware so pieces cannot damage each other.
- Plan what you can spend for both everyday and/or company serve-ware.
Stainless steel, pewter, brass, copper, tin and polished aluminum are workhorse metals—- suitable for everyday and company serve-wares— and these metals are easy to maintain. If you haven’t visited serve-ware departments recently, you’ll be pleasantly surprised by diverse styles, shapes and metals of low maintenance metal wares; at prices you can afford.
From flowers to foods—appetizers to entrees and desserts—a mix of metals makes table settings more interesting and meals more memorable. e.g. a large copper tub can serve as a planter or a spectacular wine or beer cooler.
N.B. Brand, Price and Style are NOT synonyms of quality.
Pat Breen: EYEWITNESS TO QUALITY
MY NEXT POST: HOW DO YOU KNOW IF METAL SERVE-WARE IS GOOD?