Tag Archives: Collectibles

Collecting Special Flatware For Your Table

Dirilyte Empress Place Setting-2Carolee Specialties has an 11 place settings plus 7 serving pieces of Dirilyte Flatware to make your dinner party special.

What is Dirilyte you ask? Here is a description and history of these unique pieces:—-

Dirilyte is a golden hued flatware that is not gold plated. It gets its golden hue from a solid through bronze. The metal alloy used to manufacture these items is much harder than silver and has the same color and tone of gold, yet is much more durable. The flatware is not dishwasher safe, but in 1961, the company began using a bonded protectant on its flatware, holloware and table accessories. The protectant has a distinct sparkle and negates the need for polishing.

Dirilyte Serve pcs EmpressThe company was originally named Dirigold and was founded in Sweden in 1919 by Oscar von Malmborg and Carl Molin. The metal alloy which the flatware was made of was invented in 1914 by Molin and, although it contained no gold, it did contain a number of other metals. The company later moved to America and was forced to change the name to something other than Dirigold, as they claimed that name was misleading to the public, since it actually had no gold content. They renamed it Dirilyte. The product was manufactured in Kokomo, Indiana and ceased operations in the 1980s.

Popular during the 1940’s and 1950’s and very expensive. A 5 piece place setting would have cost $700. Dirilyte has graced the finest tables in the world, from European royalty to the White House


1950s Holmes & Edwards Flatware –

Holmes and Edwads-Romsnvr-2A collection of Holmes & Edwards Flatware (Romance Pattern) from around 1952-1959 will take you back to the days you ate at Grandma’s house.

About Holmes & Edwards, a manufacturer of fine silver started in the industry back in the 1882, in the city of Bridgeport, Connecticut. The people who started Holmes & Edwards were George C. Edwards and Israel Holmes. During the early years the company manufactured mostly silver plate.

Holmes and Edwards Serving pcs--2The company has many different patterns to choose from, some of which were created many years ago. Perhaps company’s most treasured pattern is the Jamestown, which was created in 1916.

Holmes & Edwards advertising messages were unique and catchy. It was “More than a plate” and “Protected where wear happens”. The reason why this was their advertising message is because during the plating process they would add an extra layer of silver to areas that would normally have the most wear. This provided areas that were prone to the most wear added protection.

Many companies may not have believed this process was beneficial, but the company’s pieces are still in great condition because of the process they used. In fact, if you see any of the pieces today, even pieces that are more than 50 years old, still look great because of the process of adding silver to them.

Although many of the older products from the company’s earliest years are still in great condition, they are hard to find. If a person does find very old pieces, the chances are they would be very expensive.

As one can tell, the company was a great company, and although purchased by The International Silver Company in 1898, the Holmes & Edwards patterns are still of high quality. People can rest assured that any product bearing the Holmes & Edwards name is an amazing product of the highest quality. So, if you are looking for silverware, or silver plated items, be sure to check out items made by Holmes & Edwards.

By the way, if you are just starting out you don’t have to buy the entire set. Many people purchase one piece or one place setting at a time.


The Art/Antique Mall

MCaroleeSpecialtiesy store was in a small Art/Antique Mall, annexed to a larger strip mall. During the years when my daughter was still in school we often visited the small stores in the Mall. So, years later when the opportunity arose for me to acquire my own small store in that Mall, I was thrilled.

Among the many reasons that little Mall was special was the way the other store owners helped each other. When they learned that my friend backed out of our partnership leaving me to work full time in the mortgage industry and find a way to manage the store by myself, the rolled u their sleeves, put my store together in my absence and during the entire time the store operated one of them managed it in my absence.

In a corner of the mall was a table with booths where people tended to gravitate to have a cup of coffee, gossip, share problems and most of all help each other find and market a variety of products. That was where the Interior Decorators went when they were seeking a particular type of item to complete a project, the pickers showed up with a treasure or two they found that week.

Silver 2014 050I sold items created by crafters and artisans I met both in person and on the Internet, I had never considered added collectibles. At first the other store owners asked me to create an Internet presence for each of them, I built websites and posted some of their items on various auctions and classified ad sites. They then encouraged me to hook up with the Picker, Al. who brought items in weekly that he found in his travels while working as a house painter. Every single item Al brought in to sell was accompanied by documentation. He left little to the imagination, even researching at the library and bringing copies of the pages describing the item. He gave me a story to tell the buyers as I sold each item, and for the most part, the story had better be factual because most collectors also do their research. We developed a great partnership that complemented the education I was receiving from the others in the little group that gathered at the table in the Mall.

Sadly when the economy fell apart so did everything else in my life. The mortgage company closed and so did the Mall. The Mall owner had no choice but to change everything, most the small store in the main Mall closed and as did the entire Art/Antique Mall.

I carefully packed my inventory in boxes and stored them in my home. Sadly the entire group disbursed and I began to feel it was senseless for me to continue to operate.

CrystalBtl-DSC01105Two special situations (The Wounded Warrior Project. net and the Earthquakes since May in the small country of Nepal) have caused me to return to promoting handmade items and collectibles, starting with the inventory from the store and adding a few here and there that I pick up as I communicate with artisans and small businesses.

I am slowly posting items on a new Internet Store I recently created as well as the many sites available to small businesses and crafters. It is my hope to turn at least a small profit that I can share with my two pet projects. Just as important is that I provide a place for talented people to display their items and projects, as was my original goal when I started this type of work in the early 1990s.s