Sterling Silver Julep Cup

The history, examples and forms of the sterling silver julep cup. Links to resources and pictures of sterling silver julep cups and sterling silver.

The Sterling Silver Julep Cup

In the South, there is a time-honored tradition that is best enjoyed under the very wide brim of an elaborately decorated hat: The Kentucky Derby. As you watch the majestic thoroughbreds race round the track, there is no better way to cool yourself off than with a refreshing Mint Julep, better yet served in a sterling silver julep cup. The sweet bite of bourbon mixed with the fresh mint and all served ice cold is the perfect palate quencher to tackle that deep south heat. As the official libation of the Derby, one must familiarize themselves with its sweet southern charms. That being said, the following recipe has been provided. See the full recipe at the bottom of the page.

Early American silver smiths and Kentucky natives, Asa Blanchard and William and Archibald Cooper are responsible for the appearance of the julep cup design we use today. The opulence of a sterling silver julep cup goes beyond the racetrack for southern residents. We raise our cups high in celebration of our roots and traditions. Sterling silver adds that extra extravagance to the experience and is the perfect vessel for a chilled mint julep. Whether you are watching from the benches of Churchill Downs, waving your winning ticket in the air, or sitting in the air conditioned confines of your parlor, make sure you have a Mint Julep waiting. Sit back, relax and take a sip of a little southern heritage.

Above are two basic forms that the sterling silver julep takes, one with a banded border(figure 1) and the other with a beaded boarder (figure 2). Click on either and look at our selection of over 94 sterling silver juleps in 14 different forms.

The Perfect Mint Julep

Yields 1

  • 3 ounces Kentucky bourbon
  • Mint leaves
  • 2 tablespoons mint simple syrup, recipe follows

Crush a few mint leaves in the bottom of a sterling silver julep cup. Add 2 tablespoons of syrup and muddle ingredients together to release oils from mint. Then fill the julep with crushed ice. Add bourbon and stir until the julep is frosted. Top with more crushed ice. To serve, garnish with a fresh sprig of mint.

Mint Syrup:

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 bunch fresh mint sprigs

In a medium saucepan, combine sugar and water. Boil for 5 minutes, without stirring.

Pour over a handful of mint and gently crush the mint with a spoon. Refrigerate syrup mixture overnight in a jar with a lid. Remove mint leaves and keep refrigerated. In the refrigerator, the mix will be good for several weeks.

Resource: Jay Dickerson, EQ at The Party Source

Sterling Silver Pea Spoon

The sterling silver pea spoon is a piece of a American tradition that is often used throughout the year to serve a variety of dishes that require straining such a vegatables and peas.

The Sterling Silver Pea Server

Please Pass the Peas

The green pea is synonymous with the thawing of winter, transistioning into a natural beautifying of our days. Fresh produce at the local markets coupled with times of celebration bring out the host in us all. Whether at a garden party or ar a formal dinner toasting two, the presence of sterling silver always makes a postive impression.

Peas are becoming more popular in dishes for their diversity, whether they be pureed into dips for crostini or simply steamed. A little known fact about early 19th century cuisine: that after 30 mintues of boiling, the peas were skimmed out for serving. We have a vast amount of sterling silver pieces that make the serving of your sides easier, and the presentation the highlight of any meal.

Eating in green peas in the late 18th to early 19th centuries, sterling silver forks commonly used in England and the American colonies had only two or three tines and knife blades were wide and rounded in order to eat the peas from. As the saying goes:

“I always eat my peas with honey;

I’ve done it all my life.

They do taste kind of funny

but It keeps them on my knife.”

Anonymous

With the simplicity of such a small super food, it’s important that they are displayed in just the right dish; a beautiful sterling silver bowl with detail that brings the perfect amount of opulence to any table. In fact, peas of many varieties were planted with more frequency, and were allocated far more space in the kitchen garden at Monticello, than any other single vegetable. Peter J. Hatch, Director of Garden & Grounds at Monticello, writing in Dining at Monticello, states, “according to family accounts, every spring Jefferson competed with local gentlemen gardeners to bring the first pea to the table.”

We pride ourselves in the diversity of our sterling silver bowls, plates, tea sets and many serving pieces because of the stories of these famous historical figures. Like Jefferson, we are all looking for that passion to bring great food to our tables. For if we did not value our health and wealth, we would not have our greens or our silver! With that, it is no doubt that this spring, a sterling silver serving piece would be the perfect accompaniment to any side dish. Please pass the peas!

Visit our website to see the great diversity of second hand sterling silver servers.

Beverly Bremer Silver Shop

A Brief History of Sterling Silver

An article that outlines the use of sterling silver, written by Joseph P. Brady (Beverly Bremer Silver Shop Historian).

A Brief History of Silver

The process of extracting and refining silver dates from the third millennium BC, and the metal was well represented in the wealth of Mesopotamia, Babylon, Egypt, classical Greece and ancient Rome. Silver’s unique properties have made it a wonderful medium for the decorative arts, and its intrinsic value as a precious metal has made it the ultimate and everlasting recyclable. As fashion changed over the decades and centuries, silver has been melted and reshaped into new forms, and in times of economic crisis, for individuals and nations, it has been converted into coin. Its reflective qualities have made it an ideal material for the display of power, wealth or reverence, in palaces, cathedrals, temples and the great houses of Asia, Europe and the Americas.

It was during the Renaissance that silver began to become important for display: An impressive show of silver objects was a telling measure of a person’s wealth and social standing. In the English court, New Year’s gifts of silver were customarily exchanged, and silver was of foremost importance for state occasions. At the same time, silver was the preferred material for the wealthiest aristocratic and merchant classes. The social, rather than the economic, aspects of silver were taking shape.

Etruscan spoons dating from 700 BC are not unlike the ones we use today, and knives were always present at the table, but it was in 16th century Italy that forks began to replace fingers for conveying food to the mouth. As the fork’s popularity spread to France, great changes in manners began. Foods that had previously been eaten by dipping fingers or bread into a common bowl came to be eaten with spoons and forks from individual plates, and by the late 1600’s there existed different plates for different foods. Further, individual chairs replaced benches at the table. This revolution, of sorts, greatly affected the silversmiths’ output, and before the close of the 17th century silversmiths found themselves making large matching services for their wealthy patrons. It was the beginning of table silver as we know it today.

In the 18th century silver more and more became the tangible evidence of wealth, and men a women carried their hard-earned and carefully hoarded coins to the silversmith to be made into usable objects. Theses pieces retained their intrinsic value while being used for celebrations, daily routines or mere display. It is from the American colonies that we get the term American Coin Silver. Although this phrase is commonly linked to simple pointed-end, round-end or fiddle-back spoons, early American silversmiths were, like their English and European counterparts, producing church silver, tankards, beakers, tea sets and tea caddies, trays and salvers, porringers, braziers, candlesticks, etc. The word coin as it pertains to these articles of American silver mainly defines the source of the raw material: Until the 19th century, coins provided the silver makers of nearly all countries with raw material when bullion was scarce, but since silver was not mined commercially in the United States until the 1850’s, coins were the American silversmith’s major resource.

At the beginning of the 19th century, silver services were comparatively simple. However, rising middle and merchant classes on both sides of the Atlantic, as well rich industrialists in the United States, created a great demand for silver objects. The urge to display affluence, along with impetus given by exhibitions in 1851 and 1862, led not only to more ornate styles but a wide range of new serving and individual pieces. This Victorian explosion of tableware seems to have begun simply enough, with the fashion for separate fish knives. Followed, of course by the addition of the fish fork. By the 1870’s, dinner consisted of from five to eighteen courses, and, as one etiquette book stated, the guest could expect “a bewildering array of glass goblets, wine and champagne glasses, numerous forks, knives and spoons.”

Silver manufacturers were soon trying to outdo one another, with one American maker offering 20 different types of individual place setting spoons, 12 different forks and ten different knives. In addition to individual dinner forks, medium forks, dessert forks, fish forks, oyster forks, lobster forks, terrapin forks, salad forks, berry forks, pie forks, fruit forks and ice cream forks, there were specialized forks for serving beef, sardines, bread, olives, asparagus, pickles, etc. The list of specialized forks, spoons, flat servers and knives is almost endless, and reflects, in part, the spiritual need of Victorians to demonstrate the superiority of Man over all other creatures.

Nineteenth-century silver manufacturers had placed great emphasis on industrialization and modern manufacturing techniques, but the early years of the 20th century saw a move to widen the gulf between artist and industrialist. The Arts & Crafts Movement, which saw its beginnings in Europe and spread quickly across the Atlantic, put emphasis on the individual craftsman. The movement saw the important role that craft can play in the “humanizing” of society. The workers in this tradition have aspired to lofty goals, taking the silversmith back to role of artisan. The period between the World Wars brought about great stylistic changes, with the introduction of “Modernism”, later termed the “Art Deco” style. As we begin the 21st century, these objects too are finding their place in museums and private collections.

Though we may lament that much old silver has been lost to the whims of fashion or the loss of fortune, we must also remember that the nineteenth century saw a taste for collecting antique silver: Pieces once melted and refashioned began to be collected for their aesthetic appeal. The same period saw a burgeoning spirit of inquiry and research, and as the 19th century gave way to the 20th, scholarly publications and exhibitions brought new information, and exciting pieces of silver, to light. Silver has a past, a present and a future, and, in many ways, it lives in all three.

Joseph P. Brady

Silver Historian, 2007

To see more sterling silver, take a look around our website : www.beverlybremer.com

Thank you for reading, if you ever have any questions about our services, please feel free to contact us:

In Our Comments section

By Email:  sterlingsilver@beverlybremer.com

By Phone:  800-270-4009

Sterling Silver Goblets

A brief history of sterling silver goblet with links to over 50 different styles, pictured with desciptions.

The goblet is a descendant of the Standing Cup, an iconic symbol of royalty and an important piece on banquet tables in the 16th Century. Standing cups were typically 12 to 20 inches tall, and the wine in them was shared among the guests. In contrast, today’s sterling silver goblets range from 6½ to 8 inches in height; Each guest at the table has their own, filled with water. Although the styling and purpose of the goblet has changed since its inception, it remains a focal point on a perfectly set table.

Of bell shaped form and raised foot, goblets are as diverse in design as flatware, in fact some popular flatware patterns have matching goblets.

Examples Include:

  •  Chantilly by Gorham
  • Repousse by Kirk Steiff
  • Francis I by Reed & Barton
  • Rose Point by Wallace
  • Prelude by International

Given as a wedding present or to commemorate an event, a sterling silver goblet is a gift that is beautiful, useful and has with lasting value.

For in-depth instructions on cleaning and caring for goblets, please visit our website in the caring for section of www.beverlybremer.com.

Our current inventory of goblets is available online here.  If you already have some goblets and are looking to add to a set, please look on the bottom of the goblet, under the stem for the maker (it may written out or symbolized) and the style number.  You will need both to match your goblet.  If you are unsure of the maker, please comment here (or email us: sterlingsilver@beverlybremer.com) with a description of the mark!  We would be happy to help you!

What is The History of Buccellati?

Buccellati History and Sterling Silver Pattern Productions

In response to a question asked by a collector of Buccellati Esteval, Beverly Bremer Silver Shop has composed a brief history of Buccellati including more specifics about the pattern and its future.

Buccellati

In the Beginning of his career, Italian Goldsmith Mario Buccellati (1891-1965) carried on a family tradition dating back from the early 18th Century. In 1919 he opened his shop near the La Scala Opera House in Milan, and was the first among Italian Goldsmiths to to open a shop on Fifth Ave in New York and later in Palm Beach. As his popularity gained, his clientele came to include the Vatican and the Royal Courts of Europe, leading to his nickname, “The Prince of Goldsmiths.” Mario Buccellati drew upon the work of the Renaissance and Eighteen Century craftsman for design.

Mario’s son, Gianmaria Buccellati, became apprenticed to his father at the age of 14. Following his father’s death in 1965, he expanded the business and opened new shops around the world. Gianmaria became a leading designer of jewelry, as well as silver and gold objects dart. The quality of Buccellatti’s product was a a direct result of Gianmaria personally choosing his master craftsmen to execute his designs.

Esteval

Specifically, the Esteval pattern was named after a famous Villa in Portugal, designed with Classic Italian nature inspiration; introduced around 1920 and was continuously produced until 2001. Buccellati retained most of the global distribution rights for their sterling flatware patterns as well as much of their holloware pieces.

The production of Estaval was last carried out under Gianagelo Pradella. He was considered the best silver producer in Italy. After his retirement he closed the his factory and the pattern was no longer produced.

Since the closing of Pradella’s factory, Gino Buccellati of Bologna has started replicating patterns over the past 6 years, reintroducing Torchon and Borgia. He has recently been working on others to reproductions, Esteval being a likely choice of interest. Unfortunately, the dies that are needed to reproduce patterns take a very long time to complete and perfect. Hopefully in the future we will see more quality flatware coming out of Buccelatti and Italy.

 

Common Patterns Include :

(click the link to see what we have in stock)

References include:

  1. Joseph P. Brady (Silver Historian)
  2. Tim LeRay (Previous Executive Vice President, Buccellati)

Do you have questions regarding sterling silver patterns or serving pieces?

Please comment and we will investigate an answer!

Can my Sterling Silver be Repaired?

A detailed account of how a stelring silver fork of Old Master by Towle is repaired by an expert silver polisher.

Today we take a look at the processes involved in turning a Old Master fork mashed and beaten by a drain disposal back to its original state.  At Beverly Bremer Silver Shop we employ two highly skilled polishers, who together possess over 36 years of experience!  I will take you step by step through the process of fixing one simple piece of sterling silver flatware, a salad fork.

Step 1:  A customer comes into the store shopping as usual and during checkout she asks about fixing a fork that she had brought with her.  Sara, a sales associate, takes the piece and looks it over and tells the customer that she will ask the polishers to see what they can do! 

The Old Master fork pictured below, is handed to Haile, a veteran polisher, who is asked if he can fix this disposal damaged fork?

He responds with confidence, “Yes, I can fix this, as the pattern on the handle has minimal damage!”

Step 2:  Haile moves quickly to his work bench where he asseses the damage.  In a moment, he pulls out a plastic tool that resembles a small pipe, slowly and carefully he reshapes the tines to make them straight enough to hammer out into shape. 

 
 Step 3:  After the tines have been straightened by hand, he manipulates the rest of the imperfections using a plastic hammer, working on a molded spoon shaped piece connected to a vice.  To watch his quick hands make the malformed fork into a perfect piece of art again, was a sight to see.  Meticulously he fixed the outside dents and dings by working each piece of metal.  In just a few minutes the fork began to take a recognizable form.
 
 
Step 4: Using a polishing wheel with several assorted brushes and waxes, Haile works out the minor dings and scratches again, moving so fast that his hands seem to be flawlessly one with the machine.  The damage on the fork slowly disappeared until all that was left was the resin from polishing. 
 
 
Step 5:  Finally, he buffs the most lustrous metal in the world into a perfect shine, flawless and beautiful.
 
 
Step 6:  Sara picks up the fork from Haile in the polishing room with only 7 minutes of elapsed time.  Sara thanks Haile with a big smile and he responds, “No problem Sara!”
 
 
From beginning to end, the skilled expertise of the polisher using his tools led to a near perfect product of what was once scrap metal.  If you would like to know more about fixing your sterling silver pieces, please feel free to contact Beverly Bremer Silver Shop to talk with a member of our expert staff.
 
Beverly Bremer Silver Shop
3164 Peachtree Rd NE
Atlanta, GA 30305
800-270-4009
404-261-4009