Lately, I’ve been having some good luck finding and acquiring some retro items that have been on my “want” list for quite some time. First I got the magazine rack I’ve been looking for for about a year, then I found my retro red fireplace on craigslist and now — vintage flatware!
Why am I on the hunt for vintage flatware? Two reasons — one being that the Fiesta flatware I’ve been using for the last five or so years is starting to break. Fiesta dishes are great (made right here in the USA too!) but their flatware has not impressed me (Fiesta flatware is not made in the USA — it is stamped made in China). The handles are plastic and over time they’ve cracked and started breaking — yes I put them in the dishwasher which probably caused the deterioration, but the package says they are dishwasher safe. What gives?
The second reason I’m looking for vintage flatware is the scale. My adorable husband Jim and I did try buying some new Oneida flatware but we were shocked at the size of the forks and spoons — which were nearly double the size of our Fiesta flatware. Not wanting to eat my cereal with a canoe paddle, we returned the flatware and kept looking. That’s when I decided to start looking for vintage flatware.
There are several different brands and kinds of vintage starburst flatware patterns — after careful consideration I decided that the Citation Futuristic line from Mar-crest was the design I liked best. Then the search began. Luckily, I found a lot of 4 NOS place settings in short order and was able to buy them for a very reasonable price on Ebay. (I also scored another lot with two more NOS place settings and some NOS serving utensils that are on their way to me). I can’t believe that I got new, unused flatware that is still in the original box!
The boxes don’t have a year on them, but I’m guessing they are from the late 50s or early 60s — and they are made in the USA! I like to buy made in the USA stuff whenever possible — even if it was made many years ago.
The graphic designer in me loves the original packages — look at that great typography! I photographed them well so I would remember every detail since I won’t be keeping the package (they smell very musty and I started sneezing immediately upon opening the shipping box).
The back of the boxes shows all the sets that were available. As soon as the rest of my Ebay spoils arrive, I’ll have six of set one and two of set six — a great start to my vintage silverware collection. I do wish I could find more forks and some soup spoons — I’ll just keep looking!
For anyone that is wondering — yes these will be my every day flatware. I’m not sure if it is ok to put them in the dishwasher or not. I’ve read that as long as you don’t use a lemon dishwashing detergent — it is fine to put them in the dishwasher. Anyone have any experience with this?
Seeing the original packaging was great, but the best part of this flatware is the cool starburst design.
Simple, elegant, sensibly scaled and chock full of mid century appeal — I’ll take it!