Lots of people who would not dream of using a wrinkled tablecloth or chipped glass or china, seem perfectly blind to dirty silver—silver that is washed clean of food of course, but so dull that it looks like jaundiced pewter.
Don’t put any silver on your table if you can’t have it cleaned. Infinitely rather have every ornament of glass or china—and if knives and forks have crevices in the design of their handles that are hard to clean, buy plain plated ones, or use tin! Anything is better than yellow-faced dirty-finger-nailed silver. The first thing to ask in engaging a waitress is, “Can you clean silver?” If she can’t, she would better be something else.
In view of the present high cost of living (including wages) and the consequent difficulty, with a reduced number of servants, of keeping a great quantity of silver brilliant, even the most fashionable people are more and more using only what is essential, and in occasional instances, are taking to china! People who are lucky enough to have well-stored attics these days are bringing treasures out of them.
But the modern manufacturers are making enchanting “sets” that are replicas of the old. These tea sets with cups and saucers to match and with a silver kettle and tray, are seen almost as often as silver services in simple houses in the country, as well as in the small apartment in town.