I admit it. Alright, yes ... I care a great deal about cutlery. Form, material, distribution of weight, these things matter! Of all the things I collect, it is certainly the most useful, and why not fill a need with something beautiful? Here are a few of my favorite sets. None are particularly precious, just lovely things we like to eat with.
This one is mother of pearl and chased silver, found at a junk store in Chicago. They are rather petite, and we use them for eating fish (an activity we do too rarely, considering how near the sea we are):
These are very thick, and made of bronze. I found them at a flea market in Lisbon called Thieves Alley, and I know absolutely nothing about them. 1960s? In any case, they have a delightful heft, and are fun to use. I like their subdued lustre, esp. compared to silver:
And lastly, what we use every day. This is an ongoing collection, and we pick up examples as we find them. The general rule is that they have to be cheap, in a simple pattern, nice & heavy, and silver plate or coin silver.
These are usually pretty tarnished, which frankly I like. They also hold some secrets. This one is from a prison, and bears the monogram of successive owners in the institution:
We have a bunch of these, from the Italian military (don't ask me what branch), bought from the blanket of a gypsy at Porta Portese in Rome. The back of each handle is hand engraved with the torch emblem of the regiment or battalion. Neat, no?