Catherine Futter was so taken with the sterling silver tableware used during a dinner at Paul and Elissa Cahn’s St. Louis home that she volunteered to wash dishes afterward.
The Cahns politely declined the offer, but Futter persisted.
“How many times in my life will I be able to wash Paul De Lamerie plates?” she asked.
De Lamerie was a leading English silversmith in the first half of the 18th century. And Futter, senior curator of architecture, design and decorative arts at The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art in Kansas City, Mo., recently curated an exhibit of his collection.
There was a time when the lustrous metal tableware was so inexpensive that it was as common as the microwave oven.
See Saturday’s Arkansas Democrat-Gazette for a story about the silver dinnerware that still finds a place of honor in many American homes.