Dining Elegance

November 8th, 2013 | posted by Lyndon Lasiter

Grape ShearsFor many, some of the most pleasurable memories we hold are of evenings spent around the dinner table.  The way we eat together now, however, is still a relatively new construct.  In fact, the fork was not commonly used in Western Europe until the 1500s and the concept of a separate room for dining would not take hold until the 18th century.  Once these changes were underway, however, dining quickly became an elaborate affair.

As coursed meals came into vogue, a plethora of specialized utensils began to appear on the table, and silversmiths spent more and more time on crafting and decorating these items.  These grape shears by the preeminent British silversmith Paul Storr, for instance, were crafted in 1817 and made to serve only one function: to separate small clusters of grapes away from their woody stems.29-0921

In modern society these lavish details have been reserved for special occasions, such as holidays.  In fact, “Bringing out the good china” has become synonymous with efforts to elevate a dining experience from the everyday.  Of course, if you want to really make the evening one to remember, all you have to do is bring this impressive tureen to the table. Extremely rare due to its size, this highly-collectable silver vessel was crafted by Paul de Lamerie and is hallmarked London, 1741.  It is such a superior example of his work, in fact, that an almost identical tureen is pictured in Ellenor Alcorn’s book Beyond the Maker’s Mark: Paul de Lamerie Silver in the Cahn Collection.

Whether you’re looking for silver serving dishes, porcelain place settings, or crystal stemware, I know that we can help you find the perfect piece for your next evening of entertaining.