Friday, February 29, 2008

Book meme tag

The closest book to where I'm sitting is American Silver 1840-1940: A Century of Splendor, by Charles Venable. On page 123, after the fifth sentence, the next three sentences [Context: British parliamentary hearings on the decline in British sterling silverware production and the massive increase in American production]:
One witness who had spoken to a Tiffany's representative on the matter said, "The growth of the last 20 or 30 years has arisen by the home demand; before that time comparatively little silver was used in the United States, and most of that was imported from England, but that importation from England has now entirely ceased. He told me, moreover, that the use of silver was very great, notwithstanding the increased use of electro-plate.

Another witness gave an often-heard foreign response, "The Americans are ostentatious people, who are likely to go in for expensive articles in gold and silver in proportion to their increasing prosperity."
Last fall I decided for mental health reasons to pull back a bit from political reading. My first refuge was food blogs and cookbooks. This stimulated more and more interesting cooking, then thoughts of entertaining more. That led to my dragging out the boxes where I'd stuffed away the family silver thirteen years ago. Polishing and organizing the pieces made me want to identify them. A few library books, much online browsing, and a little ebay bidding later, I'm reveling in the process of learning about nineteenth century silver.

I'm grateful for the tag from Jim Henley, who wasn't sure what the point of this meme is. For me it's the opportunity for a nice break from the bleakness of the usual topics here -- and to share what's providing pleasure in my life at the moment.

I tag Thomas, Gary, and Jan. Don't feel obligated, y'all.

Image: Mustard pot by Peter L. Krider, Philadelphia, c. 1870


At 12:56 AM, March 05, 2008, Blogger Thomas Nephew said...

Thanks for tagging me! I'll get you for this. Plus, I'm in a quandary: I'm reading Arsenals of Folly, but I was closest to Shock Doctrine when I first saw your tag. Whatever shall I do?

At 4:29 AM, March 05, 2008, Blogger Nell said...

Both you and Jan are reading just the sort of things that drove me to silver.

But that's why I tagged you; I can handle them at one remove. ;>


Post a Comment

<< Home