In recent years interiors trends have ignored silver. Brass, copper and gold have been shimmering under the limelight in the wake of brands creating cohesive collections based on a statement blanket of metallic sheen.
Unsurprisingly, tableware trends are primarily influenced by the hospitality industry. As the purchasing of hospitality interiors products continues to swell within the accessories and furniture market, it’s only natural that manufacturers lean towards brand friendly and colour cohesive collections.
However, as an end user, it’s worth remembering that classics are classics for a reason. Silver is a versatile working material. As well as being extremely high quality and damage resistant, it is elegant and subtly indulgent, without being gauche.
Jamie Horton is the managing director of luxury tableware, decorative accessories and lighting supplier Harlequin London and boasts an impressive wealth of knowledge on the art of luxury entertaining. Jamie believes that there has never been a better time to invest in the beauty of silver.
“Silver is a precious metal and therefore commands a premium price which has been increasing during the recession as investors have sought safe investments for their cash. However, we have at last seen these prices fall as recovery becomes more certain. Indeed with the strength of £ sterling and falling raw material costs some European silver manufacturers have lowered their prices for the UK for 2015.”
Traditionally, tableware was an investment, as well as a luxury. Sets of beautiful flatware were wedding gifts, polished at intervals to ensure an impressive dining display year after year. A common point of discussion in all areas of interior design, investment pieces are rarely trend-driven. Subsequently, Jamie has identified a more long-term return to tradition in the younger buyers of luxury tableware.
“Harlequin has seen a steady increase in silver sales over the last five years and it is not simply to the older clients – there are many purchasers who are 20–30 years old and this is only increasing. Many see it also as a smart financial investment in a world where the financial climate is less predictable than ever.”
“Many brands are now collaborating with well known product designers to come up with more contemporary designs. It’s not all just about silver either, some suppliers (in particular Christofle, Puiforcat and Hermes) have begun to introduce well priced stainless steel collections to their portfolios in order to engage with a more contemporary market. Once they begin to understand the brand more many do actually ‘convert’ to the silver plate.
Silver Time by Jean-Marie Massaud from Christfole is a prime example of the changing image of this precious metal, making the use of silver for more informal dining. Another good example is Enrico Zanetto’s beaten silver from his Passioni collections.”