Traditionally you could measure the manner of a family by their tableware. A strong, shimmering silver represented class, elegance, entertainment and quality. Despite recent trends for copper, brass and all manner of novelty finishes, there’s no questioning the appeal of entertaining with silverware.
Tableware patterns and fashions are primarily influenced by the hospitality industry. With an increased attention to detail and analysis of bars, hotels and restaurants based on their décor (as well as their diverse menus) the entertainment industry has become a driving force for tableware trends. Subsequently, manufacturers are leaning in the direction of brand friendly and theme cohesive collections that use a range of materials that will spark a talking point.
However, it is impossible to forget that classics are classics because of their timeless qualities. Silver is an undeniably beautiful material. As well as being extremely high quality and damage resistant, it is elegant and subtly indulgent, without presenting a gauche aesthetic.
Entertainment aficionado Jamie Horton, is the founder of luxury tableware supplier Harlequin London and boasts an impressive wealth of knowledge on the art of hospitality. Jamie believes that there has never been a better time to invest in the beauty of silver and spoke about how silver is evolving with the rest of the design industry.
“Silver is obviously 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 the sterling and falling raw material costs some European silver manufacturers have lowered their prices for the UK for 2015.”
Tableware is an essential is everyday life, but why shouldn’t everyday be incredible?
Traditionally, flatware has been a investment based on family. Marriages, deaths and births, all marked by the gifting or inheritance of wonderful silverware.
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 with silver sales over the last 5 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 word where financial climate is less predictable than ever.”
And it’s not just the consumers who are changing their habits. Harlequin London work closely with a range of luxury tableware suppliers and have identified development in their creative direction.
“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 silverfrom his Passioni collections.”
Passionate about beautiful entertainment, Jamie and Harlequin London will be unveiling gorgeous new silverware at Decorex in September. To explore their current range of beautiful products visit their new website.