Friday, November 5, 2010

Today one of my competitors asked me this:
I love this ring, I have one listed also! I just wanted to ask you a question: How do you find your info on your vintage flatware? I can find virtually nothing online. The only ones I get info on are the ones that belonged to someone I know. There's tons of info about sterling stuff, but I haven't been able to find much at all on silverplate. I was hoping you would share your knowledge. Thanks! Lorri

For awhile I didn't quite know how to handle the question. Then it sort of trickled in and I actually told her the truth. Here it is.

do lots of research with a small amount of reward. The best info I get on any pattern comes from real people. Some people who sell silver know tons about patterns and those would probably be your best bet. Look for collectors, I usually look for people who are selling parts of their collection and ask them. Some people know nothing and some are a wealth of info. The belonged to someone you know stuff will always sell better than the "pile I got at auction" stuff. Auctions are usually estate sales and people there know the person who died. I went to an auction last year about this time and I could tell just by the stuff there she was a wild eccentric. The stories are even better. Ask around, Dig deep, and be passionate about it! Some of this stuff has been cherished for over 100 years.
I just spent an hour researching the celtic pattern as well. Someone told me today that it was her grandmothers pattern and I became incredibly interested. Apparently the boy finds the snake that's dying because it's fighting with itself. He brings it home and it eats everything it eats the spirit guides, it eats the people. it eats everything in it's path and when it's done it goes back to find that there is nothing left to eat. It leaves the earth and goes for the moon and the sun. The boy meets it and shoots it with an arrow and all the souls are returned to earth.
I got an awesome set of silverware yesterday that's casted. The knives are hand forged. I suppose I can tell because I'm familiar with the process. Maybe that's part of it. Try to find some patterns that have story all ready. Seek out the rare or get your hands wet with collectors spoons, I used to sell a ton of the state spoons especially locally. People you sell to have stories too. Bring it out. We're in one of the few business settings where even really shy people can have a voice. I've sold wedding rings, promise rings, bereavement rings, graduation rings, engagement rings and more. It's all about being human, give some stuff to charity auctions, sell where you can hear your customers. Ask questions! you'll probably begin to realize that it takes a lot of work (besides bending) to sell a piece of silverware. I can make a bracelet in 20 minutes. After researching, sitting at auctions, buying Materials, driving, taking pictures, and uploading, I've got at least an hour in it. After Etsy, Paypal, advertising, and tools and equipment take their cut I'm left with just enough to pay my bills. It's really the stories, the laughter and the people that make all this worthwhile.

1 comment:

  1. i absolutely adore spoon rings... If I could, I'd have an entire collection of them!