The Art of Fine Dining

January 31st, 2013 | posted by Lyndon Lasiter

The shining element to any dinner party is great flatware. A table set with fine silver becomes a bit of historical theatre rather than just a meal, and the guests, players in the art of dining. M.S. Rau Antiques has been privileged to have many fine flatware sets in its 101-year history, with time-honored patterns by makers like Tiffany & Co. that never go out of style. Dining with antique flatware is more than just an elegant experience, it is a continuation of the fascinating history of food, artistry, and the appetites of the elite.

With the profound economic impact of the Industrial Revolution in the United States, individuals of high social stature sought the finest silver to grace their dining tables. The advent of serving meals as separate courses at this time meant that each guest was given utensils for every type of food served at the meal, giving way to more specialized and highly developed pieces, from ice cream forks to gumbo spoons. Tiffany & Co. catered to this phenomenon with some of the most exceptional silver flatware services ever created.

Tiffany & Co. English King Flatware

Tiffany & Co. English King Flatware

English King is considered one of the firm’s greatest achievements still in production today. Tiffany & Co.’s flair for sophistication and craftsmanship is imparted in every element of this splendid service, an undeniable testament to the firm’s reputation as the standard of American elegance. Popular in England for over 100 years, it is easy to see why this intricately beautiful pattern was preferred by Britain’s King George II. Our 108-piece English King set, offers service for 12 and is set in a beautiful suede-lined case.

Tiffany & Co. Winthrop Flatware

Tiffany & Co. Winthrop Flatware

The Winthrop pattern epitomizes Edwardian elegance, with demure traditional motifs and a graceful silhouette. Nestled right between the great design periods of the Victorian and the art deco eras, Edwardian objects like this Tiffany & Co. Winthrop patterned set are highly sought-after by collectors.  Our 220-piece service for 12 is housed in its original three-tiered fitted case – a practical and lush presentation for this fine flatware set.

Tiffany & Co. St. Dunstan Flatware

Tiffany & Co. St. Dunstan Flatware

The spartan and refined St. Dunstan pattern by Tiffany & Co. is named after the patron saint of gold and silversmiths. Designed  at the height of the art deco period, St. Dunstan possesses the wonderfully understated aesthetic so valued at this time. This 177-piece set for 12 features gilt detailing on many of the pieces, providing an added opulence to the already impressive service.

Tiffany & Co. Chrysanthemum Flatware

Tiffany & Co. Chrysanthemum Flatware

Chrysanthemum is Tiffany & Co.’s most popular pattern and also one of its most costly to produce. The lush, swirling flora motif, punctuated by the namesake flower, is a wonderfully baroque design. Our set is dated to 1880 and is in pristine condition, with all 208 pieces nestled in a handsome mahogany case.

Antique silver sets are refined additions to any table. With many patterns to choose from, it is easy to select a design that will live with your family’s dining traditions for generations to come.

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