Megan and I collect antique dishes. Some people collect Magic cards, other people collect salt and pepper shakers, and some people for reasons unknown collect clown dolls.
Our biggest collections are uranium glass and carnival glass, but more recently we’ve found that silverware is one of those collections that can lead to a lot of really awesome finds.
Especially at thrift stores. So many times people donate flatware without looking at it, or wouldn’t recognize it as being silver. So for 30 cents it’s fairly easy to start building a collection, as long as you aren’t too stressed about not having a set (though we have managed to find complete sets for cheap. There’s just something cool about the mismatch).
We began sorting through silverware boxes about a year ago, and we have enough that we can serve any number of company. Most of the time it’s newer sets of silver with modern patterns, but occasionally we find some amazing hidden treasure.
Like this one:
It’s a butter knife, and I honestly didn’t think much of it when I bought it, until I saw the maker’s mark on the back. It had a patent number, a piece number, and ASCO. None of the modern makers stamps. Honestly, I picked this piece out because it matches the Carnival glass pattern.
Thusly intrigued, I started looking online, and found that this knife is genuinely antique. The first site was a display of a spoon in this set that’s currently in the Brooklyn Museum. Other sites gave more information, like it being by the American Silver Company, and that pattern was made between 1901 and 1935.
Putting that in perspective, this knife could be as old as World War 1, Nikola Tesla, wireless radio, waffle cones, Orville and Wilbur Wright’s first flight at Kitty Hawk, and Henry Ford’s Model T car.