The 12 Patterns of the Southern Silver Zodiac

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  1. Andrea, What a fabulous post, I just had this conversation with my 20 year old daughter yesterday how the days of girls getting married and registering for silver and crystal have fallen by the wayside, it is so sad. She asked a friend if she ever thought of what pattern of china she might like and the girl didn't have an idea of what she was talking about. I think some of these traditions will fall by the wayside with younger generations as the days of formality for many just don't exist.

  2. These are hysterical – how have I never seen this? This book sounds like a must for this Southern girl – heard about it, but never read. Confessions of a Francis I pattern here, and loved reading them all since I have 3 sisters and know their patterns too!!

  3. This looks like a very fun read! I'm pretty sure the silver plate I got from my mother was Old Master, but I'm not sure what the pattern is of the sterling I bought at an Antique Faire. Must run down to check!! xo

  4. Love this post! I got married I the seventies and chose Medici by Gorham. It is so much like Grande Baroque that on silver websites beside the Medici it will say "you may also a like Grande Baroque". I would say that I did have a flair for the dramatic at least back then, and also a literary bent, as I later became a copy writer for radio and televison!

  5. The best patterns are the old ones. R & B's "Love Disarmed" is more ornate than "Francis I." Also, Alvin's "Old Orange Blossom" or Wallace's "Irian." For less ornate taste, there is Gorham's "Lansdowne" or Tiffany's "San Lorenzo." All at one's fingertips on ebay

    My pattern is International's "Wedgwood." What does that tell you about me?

  6. I loved the book "A Southern Belle Primer." My mother, sister, and I read it, and we all exclaimed over the number of deviled egg plates and iced tea pitchers our mother owned. Mother's pattern was Charlemagne by Towle and it is a bane to this day that the pattern was discontinued in 1996. Don't even get her started!

  7. My pattern is Grande Baroque. I love roses and I am a book lover. My mother has Gorham Greenbrier and my mother-in-law has Wallace Sir Christopher. I have read the Southern Belle Primer and think it is hilarious.

  8. I have this book from years and years ago, and as I recall, in the original version, they mixed up Chantilly with another pattern in the photo. Oopsie! Maybe the graphic designer was, dare I say it, a Yankee? 😉

    My mother, my grandmother, and I all had/have Chantilly with pieces from other patterns thrown in for good measure, including Fiddle Thread which all really old families have pieces of in their silver chests. I am ashamed to tell you how many Chantilly place settings I am currently hoarding. 😉 Let's just put it this way, I can serve a LARGE army for lunch or dinner.

    My mother in law had Francis 1st which I inherited several place settings of and adore. Don't tell my mother, but I would trade ALL the Chantilly on earth for Francis. Traitor to the cause that I am.

    • I’m a Chantilly girl too! Passed down from my mom whose three aunts doted on her and gave her a piece or two of Chantilly for every special occasion. I too chose Chantilly and added to it. But sadly girls of today don’t seem to be interested too much in the family China, Crystal, or sterling. Maybe there is more casual entertaining…I don’t know…but my daughter is not that interested …I just hope she changes her mind—I think I’ll just have it buried with me if she doesn’t

  9. I have the original version of the book–I'll have to reread it now that my daughter is old enough to pledge a sorority! I went to a woman's college and we didn't have sororities, so I have no useful motherly wisdom to impart.

    I have my mother's Reed and Barton Pointed Antique. It's very simple and down to earth, which she always was and still is!

  10. Grande Baroque gal here! I am rarely seen without a book, so this really amused me. Great article! My Yankee sister in law just doesn’t understand the southern girls passion for silver and china.

  11. Fab-a-lous post! A really funny and insightful book.

    South Carolina Grandmother to her granddaughter: “Your bosom can be fake. Your smile can be fake and your hair color can be fake. But your pearls and your silver must always be real.”

    We had a church pastor, whom my mother adored, for over twenty years. He eventually retired and Mother wasn’t thrilled with his replacement. A rather large, slovenly chap and not a slave to fashion.

    One Sunday upon leaving church, as he greeted congregants at the exit.. she smiled and touched his elbow as she spoke to him… “My, what Luuvley Material in that jacket, Brother Mike..” and before he could wince out a ‘thank-you’ she finished with… “….and weren’t you lucky to find so Much of it!”

    I miss her every day.

  12. First, let me just say, I am a Yankee transplant. Married into my husband’s Texas branch of the Rose Point family. I expect that this is frowned upon by all good and proper belles within the Southern Silver Zodiac. But can I just say, after 38 years of marriage, I am JUST NOW realizing the prize jewels I’ve inherited and the sacred responsibility I have taken on to impart this silver pattern wisdom to my step daughter. Thank you so much for this enlightening post!

  13. I was raised in the North, so silver patterns weren’t exactly a part of my childhood, but I’ve recently been looking for some good silver to start off with in my new home. I fell in love with Grand Baroque when I first saw it, and reading this made me smile. I definitely have a flair for the dramatic and literary. I was heavily involved with theater in high school and college, frequented Broadway shows as a child, and my whole family was involved with our local library’s volunteer programs. Funny how this is still so accurate even though I wasn’t raised in the South.

  14. I have already divvied up my six boxes of sterling and coin flatware between my three grandchildren……….. have just a few place settings of my favorite —- The Knot – a pre-1850 pattern with no knives -by Ball and Black — very rare — lots of large spoons – can’t find much else……anyone know of any for sale, let me know…………[email protected]

  15. My Southern — ok, probably Midwest — is St. Louis considered the South? grandmother’s pattern was Old Colonial (Towle, I think). My mother, sisters and I all admired and wanted it. Mine is King Richard — not sure where it falls on the Southern zodiac but it’s probably a Yankee pattern! Of the above patterns, though, I always liked Chantilly. My mother-in law’s silver looked a lot like Rose Point. Hmm, fast in high school? Not sayin’.

  16. I received my mother’s sterling pattern as a wedding present – “Grand Colonial” by Wallace. Without being asked, I was the one (from childhood) who would polish the silver before any family gatherings.


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