Holiday parties, family get-togethers, intimate afternoon teas, and celebratory occasions abound during November and December. This lively time demands special décor, from table linens to flatware. You may have a prized collection of antique citrus spoons, or perhaps you received a bonbon spoon as a wedding gift. There are numerous opportunities to display some of these most cherished and elegant serving pieces and individual utensils.
Drew Parker, owner of Argent Antiques, has been interested in vintage and antique flatware since his business opened in 1998. Through his travels to Europe, as well as his experience in procuring the many gorgeous pieces housed in his retail store, Drew has gained extensive knowledge of a variety of patterns.
Citrus spoons, also known as grapefruit or orange spoons, often have a sharp tip for easy removal of segmented fruit. Typically, grapefruit and orange spoons are similar in size (approximately 6 inches long), although the bowl of the grapefruit spoon may be a bit broader. Citrus spoons are not often part of a set of flatware today. For those lucky enough to own these unique spoons, Drew says a modern twist could be to use them for ice cream or desserts, as the sharp point works well for breaking off bites of these foods.
Bonbon or Nut Spoons
Although hosts may not serve bonbons as often as in the past, bonbon spoons, also known as nut spoons, can be used for almost anything. These range in size from 4 to 5 inches, says Drew, and their wide bowls may or may not be pierced, depending on the manufacturer. A wonderful way to display these during the holiday season is to place alongside a decorative dish filled with candy or nuts. “It dresses up your table,” says Drew. “I love the look of new and old together.”
“Once you get an inkling of the antique bug in you, you’re stuck. You can’t get it out,” Drew Parker says of how he became interested in silver and antiques. His mother, the late Maye Jolly, was an antiques dealer, and in 1998, mother and son decided to open Argent Antiques to utilize their shared interest. The store has been in the same location in Homewood, Alabama, since 1999.
Argent Antiques quickly evolved to include new and estate sterling flatware, tabletop pieces, jewelry, and furniture, among other inventory items. It also offers a bridal registry, making the store understandably busy during wedding season. “Our store is so diverse. It’s not like a lot of antique stores where you just sell furniture. One minute, we may be selling silver baby cups or a wedding present, and the next minute, it’s a chair,” explains Drew.
Drew is always finding new and exciting pieces for his customers. To that end, he travels to Europe a couple of times a year to buy silver in England and antique furniture in France. He also enjoys finding modern uses for old pieces. Sometimes his customers will give him creative ideas, such as using a sardine server as a petits fours server. Find out more about the store at argentantiques.com, or call 205-871-4221.