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Goodbye, Chateau Rose

Earlier today I sent my pal Todd out the door with my grandmother's silverware and instructions to sell it.* He came back an hour and a half later with an envelope full of cash.**



The purpose of this exercise was twofold: First, I've been wanting to be free of that silverware for years. It's been in a tarnish-resistant white leatherette case at the back of a cupboard, an unseen and untouched albatross around my neck, for as long as I've lived in this house. Sentiment, tradition, and an unexamined attachment to the belief that Real Silverware means you've really joined the middle class, have kept me hanging on to it, ironically right through the decline and fall of said middle class.

And second, I needed the money to help fund my bedroom remodel.

A silver salad fork in the Chateau Rose design
Totally not my style, either.


The daughters and granddaughters of the mid-20th century are ridding themselves of the impractical flatware by the ton, so the family silver is only collectible if it's in mint condition. And it's only in mint condition if it was in a family even more aspirational than mine--that is, one who never actually used the Good Silver.

Twelve place settings of Chateau Rose are, therefore, worth nothing but the melt value of their silver content (about 2000 grams all told). Todd and the broker arrived at what I'm confident was a very fair deal. And I'm free of the albatross.

So goodbye, Chateau Rose and hello particleboard. Screw half-century-old middle-class pretensions. I want IKEA wardrobes and a new bed.

*It is a sad fact of life even today that an affable six-foot-six man will get a better deal than I will from the guy who does business under the WE BUY GOLD sign. Besides, Todd likes people and new experiences. He reports having had a wonderful time transacting business in a fascinating world that doesn't normally overlap his or mine at any point. I bought him lunch.

**I...have never actually had hundred dollar bills before. Wow. So Benjamin. Many sketchy. Very tracking strip. Wow. I am not comfortable with cash. I have made it go away.


Crossposted from Dreamwidth, where there are comment count unavailable comments.

Comments

( 4 comments — Leave a comment )
cattraine
Mar. 9th, 2014 03:17 am (UTC)
We Never Owned a Actual Set
Just a few real bits and pieces that I think eventually were sold. Most patterns are really, really ugly anyway.
emeraldsedai
Mar. 9th, 2014 03:55 am (UTC)
Re: We Never Owned a Actual Set
It's a whole weird mid-century middle-class thing. There's absolutely nothing superior about the experience of using silver to eat with--it doesn't enhance the food or provide any benefits of weight or balance. It doesn't have any qualities that stainless steel doesn't offer better and cheaper (except, arguably, its beauty.) It's just pure, unadulterated pretension. As a matter of fact, it's too ductile--if you leave a silver spoon in your teacup or your soup bowl, it quickly gets too hot to hold.

Selling Grandma's silver today let me see it for what it was. It's been an interesting minor awakening.
donutsweeper
Mar. 9th, 2014 04:24 am (UTC)
Congrats on ridding yourself of that albatross!

We actually have hubby's grandmother's silver but it's not even in a tarnish proof case or anything, in fact I don't think I've even looked at it since we moved (10 yrs ago or so), oops, probably should do something about that.
emeraldsedai
Mar. 9th, 2014 05:20 am (UTC)
After my experience today (well, Todd's experience, which sounded very interesting!) I'm all for taking that stuff out and liquidating it, assuming doing so won't break Grandmama's heart. (In my experience, daughters and granddaughters are handy means by which ladies who've gotten tired of polishing the silverware can get rid of it without guilt. That's how I got mine.)

The fact that sterling has a spot price of $0.67 per gram tells you that it has some applications where it's more useful to the world than as forks and spoons: electronics, for instance. And medicine.

So though I'm not without a pang or two tonight, mostly I'm pretty happy with moving that mass of sentiment and memory along.
( 4 comments — Leave a comment )

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