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Like many other young brides, the Countess received an expensive set of China and sterling silverware. Used at Christmas, some of the time. As we think of moving to a retirement home, we realize we don't need it, we won't use it, and it's hard to get rid of. Any suggestions? The local Salvation Army food place doesn't need it, either.

CNC
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There is a market for good quality china and silver. You might check ebay, craigslist and even a local consignment shop. For example https://www.ebay.com/sch/i.html?_from=R40&_trksid=p23800...
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"Like many other young brides, the Countess received an expensive set of China and sterling silverware. Used at Christmas, some of the time. As we think of moving to a retirement home, we realize we don't need it, we won't use it, and it's hard to get rid of. Any suggestions? The local Salvation Army food place doesn't need it, either.

CNC "

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Have you asked the retirement home folks if they could use the sets?

Howie52
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We faced the same issue after my mother died, and ended up donating the whole thing to Goodwill. Big, fancy china service for 12 people as I remember, with serving bowls and platters and all that stuff. We learned that our grown daughters had no interest in china of any kind, nor in any silver, and after a little looking around we decided that it made more sense to just to give it away rather than to put in the work trying to find a buyer.
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<<We faced the same issue after my mother died,>>


My father was relieved of this issue during a siege of high silver prices in the 1980s by burglars.



Seattle Pioneer
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There is a market for good quality china and silver. You might check ebay, craigslist and even a local consignment shop. For example https://www.ebay.com/sch/i.html?_from=R40&_trksid=p23800......

That's getting into the Countess's department, but I think she checked on eBay. I recall she is selling individual pieces rather than the whole lot. She is a Top Rated Seller (TRS) on eBay, so she knows what sells and what doesn't.

As an aside, she does have collector's disease. She collects things. The most obvious is (was) Christmas ornaments. Maybe 30 years ago she had all her ornaments listed on a spread sheet. IIRC there were more than 1800 separate ornaments in Hallmark alone. I am sooooo proud of her. She sold almost all of the Hallmark on eBay.

Separate story: Back in the day there was an active aftermarket for Hallmark ornaments. After a year, Hallmark no longer issues a given ornament, so the popular ones became very pricey. At the time I worked at TRW, and I would advertise in the TRW employee's newspaper to buy ornaments we knew were re-sellable at a good price.

If you have a 1980 Frosty Friends ornament in mint condition, with box (MIB) it's valuable, for instance. For example https://www.ebay.com/sch/i.html?_from=R40&_trksid=p23800......

eBay pretty much killed the aftermarket, so that Frosty Friends is "only" worth $500 now.

The Countess does know her way around eBay. I think I asked her once, and she guessed she had sold more than 5,000 items, mostly rather low value things, but she did clean out our basement.

Another side story. There used to be a wine enthusiast board on TMF. (wonder if it's still there?) I fancied myself to be slightly knowledgeable about wines, and I followed the discussions for a while. The board was mainly made up of people who thought certain New York wines were the epitome of fine drinking, and they almost universally disdained California wines. To get to my point, one day a new poster showed up, asking if anyone had any Marilyn Merlot wines? Well, he was roundly scoffed at. "Don't you know that is cheap slop?" Well, as it happened, I had a bottle, which I got as a Christmas gift - a sort of a gag gift. So I asked him why he asked, because yes. I have a bottle. What year? he wanted to know. I had to call home and ask, but it was a 1985. He said not to open it, or drop it, but to go look on eBay and see if there was any available? 1985 was the original bottling. So, I went and looked. (We knew from nothing about eBay at the time.) Sure enough, there were bottles of Marilyn Merlot for sale on eBay. One could not sell "real" wine on eBay at the time, so it had to be sold as a collectible. A bottle of 1985 was selling for $800 to $1000. I studied a bit about eBay and realized I had to have a track record before trying to sell anything expensive, so Isold a paint sprayer, and some othe tools and low-priced thing just so I would show some sales. When I advertised my Marilyn Merlot, I "only" got $850 for it. You better believe I packed it very carefully, and remember that sale fondly. Not unlike my first date.

That may actually be when the Countess turned to the Dark Side on eBay.

CNC
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Have you asked the retirement home folks if they could use the sets?

Howie52


No, I haven't. Seems unlikely, as they are serving several hundred meals at a time, and a service for 12 would mostly be lost in the shuffle.

CNC
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<<That may actually be when the Countess turned to the Dark Side on eBay.

CNC>>


Sounds like every cloud tends to have a lead lining?

There ought to be a better way of expressing the idiomatic reverse of a silver lining.


Seattle Pioneer
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My parents had a fancy living room and dining room. Plus fancy dining room furniture, silver and china. It was almost never used, and that was 50-70 years ago.

The age of formal entertaining must have been before that.

Has anyone participated in such formal dining experience in a private home?


Seattle Pioneer
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We have faced that issue personally and with the estates of other. Our solution was offer it to family members (and others we knew of that might want the stuff) and take what was left to a consignment store. For some stuff the consignment store declined and that was sent to a landfill.
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CNC, I did a major renovation here back in the mid 2000’s(ancient history now), and got rid of excess furniture, china, crystal glasses and other. I sold it through consignment shops and auction house. With the furniture, s truck came and the guys loaded it on the truck and took it to a house that was having estate sale and added my stuff in there. Easy peasy and I received a check. With the consignment shops, I had to take stuff to them, some are pickier than others, and they assign prices and when item is sold, a check is sent out. One has to be patient with consignments.

Of course, the easiest method is Goodwill. Drop it off and its done.

Charities that deal directly with the homeless and poor families want microwaveable dishes and cups and bowls. Pots and pans with lids are needed too, plus can openers. I have volunteered with a local charity And was surprised to learn about The dishes and stuff needing to be microwaveable but hearing that people may not have a oven in a house or hotel they live in, it made more sense to me.

Good luck on your clearing out. I have more clearing to do as I see my time here in this big house with a big yard is not practical. It gets down to how do I want to spend my time and money and physical energy.

Keep us posted on your progress.

Lucky Dog
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Try replacements.com. I need to do some similar cleaning out and your post inspired me to see what they're selling my grandmother's wedding china pattern. $27 for a dinner plate, $62.95 for a 5 piece place setting. $70 for a gravy boat. Don't know how they calculate selling to them but something to look into.

Disclaimer: This feels practical for me as they are located near me so I wouldn't have to ship. YMMV.

Of course, now that I see the dishes and platters in front of me, I want to hold on to them...at least I can print out the resale option and store it with the pieces for my "lucky" heirs.

cm,
thinks I'll use a few of the serving dishes tonight

https://www.replacements.com/p/royal-schwarzburg-rsc5-dinner...
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You could take the silverware to any pawnshop and get the silver value for it.

I got lots of misc dishes - pieces of several sets......probably donate it to either goodwill or Salvation army. Goodwill is a for profit business......nothing goes to 'charity'.

t.
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Set up a card table near the front curb.place the set on it with a sign saying 'For Sale $100'.

Leave it unattended.

Chances are it will be gone by morning.
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Set up a card table near the front curb.place the set on it with a sign saying 'For Sale $100'.

Leave it unattended.

Chances are it will be gone by morning. - jjbklb


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LOL. The card table will be gone too.
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See if your local college art department would be interested in the stuff as potential "found art"?

I've seen spoons with scenes, floral, portraits, etc painted in the bowl.
And flatware mobiles and wind chime art/crafts.
Perhaps the local art guild would know someone?

My local college art department took my old house paint, that students then used in their art.

Donations to schools is deductible?

🙂
ralph
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cabinsmama: Try replacements.com.

Good suggestion. We have used them to buy the odd piece we needed, but ever thought of selling to them. I will contact them.

CNC
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jjnklb: Set up a card table near the front curb.place the set on it with a sign saying 'For Sale $100'.

Leave it unattended.

Chances are it will be gone by morning.


Heh. We have a short retaining wall beside our front sidewalk. We have used your method to get rid of surplus artichokes, lemons, and other things we can't use. It works. And no one has taken the retaining wall!

CNC
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Has anyone participated in such formal dining experience in a private home?

Yes, The fine china and silverware comes out each Christmas Eve when the family gathers at my sister's house. The other time is when the family gathers for our mother's birthday party. Given that she is 97, it is unclear how much longer this tradition will continue.

With regard to the silverware that my mother inherited from my grandparents, it is now used daily.
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you can't hardly give that stuff away at an auction...organs and piano's are worse.
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<<you can't hardly give that stuff away at an auction...organs and piano's are worse.>>



It wasn't many generations ago that most human beings were lucky to have a wooden spoon to use to eat out of a common pot.

Gold and silver tableware were the only practical metals available for tableware, which restricted it to the very rich.


Now technology and industrialization has made crockery cheap and available to most, and stainless steel tableware as well.

That has democratized the experience of eating a meal hugely, and all to the good. (I don't really fancy the idea of using fingers to eat out of as common pot....)

Even the poorest can equip themselves for stately dining by spending a few dollars at a thrift shop.



Seattle Pioneer
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Sterling silver flatware will have a melt value. Sterling is going for $17.95 per troy oz.

If it is Tiffany -- look up the prices! Check the prices for your pattern. Ebay might be OK.

If it is plated, then donate it to Goodwill. Our city also has a nice consignment resale shop for fancy expensive stuff. You might look for one of those places.

The other thing you can do is pass it off to one of your kids or grandkids.

You can also keep it for barter during the Zombie Apocolypse.

Good luck!

Karen
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We learned that our grown daughters had no interest in china of any kind, nor in any silver...

Yes, we found the same thing when our parents passed. Back in the 50s, it was very fashionable to have formal silverware and china service sets. Not sure where that came from. I'm guessing, but it may have been due to a carryover of the depression when households had little and so such permanent and non-deteriorating furnishings were seen as a kind of status symbol.

But your right about today's younger generation. Our daughter and son, mid 40s, have absolutely NO interest in fancy serve-ware. Heck, I think they'd permanently eat off paper plates if given the choice.

Another change in the evolution of household values.

BruceM
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