Elegant Sterling Silver Tongs for Fine Dining

Here is a pair of vintage ice cube tongs made by Wallace Silversmiths. The elegant five-point grips can handle ice cubes, olives, even relish. This vintage utensil will compliment any silverware set.

The tongs properly belong beside a punch bowl or by the bar. After all, when serving a guest a drink on a summer afternoon, do you fish for ice cubes with the fingers? Preferably not. With a spoon? Splish splash. Use tongs to deliver the cubes to the cup, and enter the world of fine dining.

Silver flatware has an intrinsic metal value, the tongs representing 1 oz. Sterling. Greater is the fashion value, for the tongs carry a beautiful pattern known as the “Romance of the Sea” (1950), a design said to “combine timeless elegance with the quality craft for which Wallace is known. ”

Finally there is the show-off value.  “Of all the serving implements at a dinner table, tongs are perhaps the most fun to use. Unlike knives, forks, and spoons … tongs … carry everything from sugar cubes to asparagus spears to one’s plate. At a dull dinner party, the opportunity to operate a pair of tongs may be the high point of the evening.” (collectorsweekly.com)

Wallace Silversmiths

Wallace Silversmiths is a major American manufacturer of sterling silver. The company was founded by Robert Wallace. He was the son of Scottish immigrant and silversmith James Wallace and his wife Irene (Williams), who had immigrated in the late 18th century. Robert Wallace became an apprentice to Captain William Mix at the Meriden Britannia Co. After mastering the art of silver craft, Robert Wallace purchased a dilapidated gristmill, and began to produce spoons in 1833. He later moved his factory Wallingford, Connecticut. There he increased his production of spoons and cutlery.

Realizing the importance of diversification, Wallace began producing a complete range of flatware using a nickel alloy formula. For the next five decades, Wallace did contract work, producing cutlery for a number of firms throughout the world. Wallace produced cutlery for such firms as Hall, Elton & Co., Fred R. Curtiss Co., and Meriden Britannia Co. By 1871, Wallace had purchased his partner’s shares and together with two of his sons renamed the growing company R. Wallace and Sons Mfg. Co. The factory added to its products sterling goods and high-grade nickel-silver plated ware, both flat and hollow. Also In 1871, Wallace, his sons and sons-in-law formed a new company. The new company, Wallace Brothers, produced silver plated flatware on a base of stainless steel.

In 1875, Wallace introduced the first three sterling silver patterns to feature the esteemed Wallace name – Hawthorne, The Crown, and St. Leon. These patterns were followed by sterling silver and silver plated holloware. In the 1930’s the company released a series of cutlery patterns, designed by William S. Warren. Wallace established itself as a prominent name in the silver industry with the introduction of the Grande Baroque pattern in 1941. It grew to be the largest manufacturer of flat tableware in the world. 

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