Refinement Of The Past: Polished Hotel & Railroad “Travel” Silver

Historied Objects Of Form & Function:  The Grand Hotel Silver
Historied Objects Of Form & Function: The Grand Hotel Silver

The refined past of hotel & railroad silver. Well-polished style, indeed. The world of “travel silver” is one with a polished history, for certain. Although the world of silver in travel is international, a look back at the silver wares of American travel is my focus. An array of vintage silver reclaimed from hotels & railroads (of course, let’s not forget the silver of steamship, ocean liners and restaurants). These elements are historical artifacts that represent the elegance of the past. Made for function and beauty, the durability of the “Hotel’s finest silver” and wares from other travel venues were objects of high style and luxury. Carrying a reminder of a world of elegance that traveled before, these striking objects offer us today function and appeal within our own personal interiors.

Of note, in the late 19th century until the mid 20th century, silver is said to have been an expensive investment but was considered necessary for the business of serving travel guests. Interestingly, even some of the smaller hotels would often have their silver serving pieces engraved. Either the hotel name, logo or crest that would grace the top or bottom of a silver piece. Whether the objects were created by large hotel silver manufacturers, such as Gotham, R. Wallace, Gorham, Reed & Barton and Rogers Bros or small jewelers, these objects are coveted memorabilia today. These often intricate and high craftsmanship pieces graced many American tables of hotel dining and train car dining. Commonplace for every table setting and remnants of history that live on.

Many of America’s hotels of the past are still standing and have been restored to their original grandeur and remain in operation. Yet the world of travel that existed “back in the day” remain as visual photographs and iconic Hollywood reels of film classics that highlight the luxury of a more elegant time. Yet it is the physical objects that remain behind that bring that history alive. The dining experiences and ambiance offered by these esteemed hotels and trains that offered the wares of silver in their dining rooms and dining cars deserve an acknowledgement of appreciation. Elements of a refined past of travel, indeed…

Grand Historic Hotels & The World Of Grand Dining
Grand Historic Hotels & The World Of Grand Dining
Grand Elegance:  Dining Rooms Of Historic Hotels
Grand Elegance: Dining Rooms Of Historic Hotels
The Drake Hotel/Chicago (1925)
The Drake Hotel/Chicago (1925)
Train Travel:  The Elegant World Of Dining On The Rails
Train Travel: The Elegant World Of Dining On The Rails
The World Of Elegant Train Travel
The World Of Elegant Train Travel: Dining Car Elegance

A visual appreciation of the world of “travel silver” and its appearance within our personal interiors today…

Objects of Elegance: The Vintage Silver food Dome
Objects of Elegance: The Vintage Silver food Dome
Form & Function Of The Past:  Hotel Silver
Form & Function Of The Past: Hotel Silver
Objects That Link The Elegance Of The Past:   Hotel Silver
Objects That Link The Elegance Of The Past: Hotel Silver
Remnants Of Elegance:  Hotel Silver
Remnants Of Elegance: Hotel Silver
Objects Of Refinement:  Hotel Silver
Objects Of Refinement: Hotel Silver
Form & Function:  Durable Artifacts Of A Gilded Past
Form & Function: Durable Artifacts Of A Gilded Past
Hotel Silver:  Representations Of The Elegance Of The Past
Hotel Silver: Representations Of The Elegance Of The Past
Serveware With A History:  Hotel Silver
Serveware With A History: Hotel Silver

Alas, even beyond the marked silver pieces of serveware that the world of travel has left behind for us to enjoy, consider with appreciation the “Family” sterling or monogramed pieces from the past. Monogrammed vintage and antique silver & silver-plate flatware are lost art forms that hold historical importance. Possessing a history of the original owners, these orphaned heirlooms offer us a timeless, unique place in our personal worlds of entertaining. “Good Taste” of polished style with which to entertain in high style. Perhaps these objects of silver will carry on doing “double duty” of form & function that will continue in appreciation and use for generations to come. Elegance endures. And if you have no silver to polish and enjoy? A mere appreciation of these objects of silver. Elegance always endures. A “polished” approach to dining, indeed…

Kristin

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