Monday, April 19, 2010

Sugar Tongs – Daryle Lambert's Antiques and Collectibles Blog - What?

Sugar Tongs - thanks to

I have written on many things but never sugar tongs. But why would I do it now? Well I have never had anyone present 16 sets at one time for me to evaluate. Going to eBay, however, I found that they must be pretty popular with collectors.

The research is going to take some time because of the widespread differences in value. A Russian one might bring thousands of dollars while the average sterling tongs might fetch $20. In this case, the person offering the lot of 16 tongs is a member of the Daryle Lambert's Antiques and Collectibles Club, so I will be doing my best to give him an accurate value on his tongs.

If I had received an email for just one pair of tongs, it wouldn't have gotten much of my attention, but 16 is a different matter. I will be contacting several collectors to see what their offers might be on the total lot. Ian is also considering posting them on our classifieds and hopefully that section will be ready at the first of the month. We are really getting excited about our classifieds after making the large sale on the Doulton plates and the napkin holders. What is so special about sugar tongs you are asking, and that is a great question. For those that have followed me for any amount of time, I have always stressed that the rare and unusual was where we wanted to be as dealers. When was the last time you had the opportunity to purchase sugar tongs? I think you just answered your own question because I don't believe that I have found a set at a house or garage sale in several years.

Remember, I believe that silver is a more important metal than gold. When you add on value for rarity, any piece of silver is apt to have a value that will allow for the buyer to make a fair amount of money when it is sold. The common patterns of sterling silverware are another matter, however, and I bid extremely low on them. I try not to bid over $4 or $5 for knives, forks and spoons unless they are rare patterns.

Our eating habits have changed dramatically since the 1800's, and if you search you will find many strange items that used to decorate the formal table that aren't used any longer. Here we go with just a list of sterling tongs: salad, ice, sardines, asparagus, serving, fish and mushroom. How many of these did you know about? To be honest, I would have to say for me, about half of them.

This blog has given me an idea and hopefully I will be able to do several more blogs on unusual dining items. The other items that I write about may not all be sterling pieces but perhaps some glass and other materials that were used on the table that you might not be familiar with. It’s midnight again so perhaps I might need to call it a night. Talk to you tomorrow. 

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