I love serving tea at social occasions. Book club is the perfect example of when I pull out my sterling silver tea set and make a simple beverage an afternoon event. I love the theater of pouring the tea into each of the dainty china cups and then handing it to one of the readers. But it doesn't stop there, I'll use my tea set after dinner when it's just me and my husband. I truly believe that we deserve our own serene minutes. And you know if you use your sterling silver you don't have to make such a big deal about cleaning it before Thanksgiving. It's already been cleaned the previous weekend. Because it's being used so much and because I love it so much my tea set is proudly displayed on my dining room sideboard buffet. I was lucky mine is a family heirloom that I was given for a wedding gift by a great aunt. But if you're not that lucky, you'll find some gorgeous Gorham sterling silver tea sets on ebay - often at wonderful prices.
Gorham Sterling Silver Tea Sets
Great selection of Gorham teapots, creamers, bowls and more at fabulous prices.
While I did inherit the sterling silver tea set, I did not inherit the sterling silver tray that it came on. So I did have to scour estate sales to find one that I liked. But you know what? Just find any old silver tray and polish it up. It will look fabulous. You don't have to tell a single soul that it's silver plated. People will just look at the tea set and make a big assumption. Stick this on your dining room buffet or living room sideboard with crystal candle holders on either side and you've got quite the centerpiece.
You can find tea sets in all different sizes. Usually this refers to the pieces in the set. So what do you get for your money in a 6-piece sterling silver tea set? Well first off there's the teapot. No, don't boil the water in this. But you can put in the teabags and let it steep. There's often a second pot for coffee. I don't do this. If I'm serving tea then I stick to tea. Usually I'll brew a full-bodied, rich tea with caffeine and a lighter decaffeinated citrus-based tea. If I know that several people who shun all levels of caffeine will be present, then I brew an herb tea. Then you get a sugar, creamer and waste pot. It's the waste pot that usually stymies people. I put the teabags in it. The tray may or may not be counted in the deal.
There are many things to consider when you're buying a sterling silver tea set anywhere, but perhaps more so when you buy online. For example, will the tea set be cleaned and polished when it arrives. This is even more important if you're buying it as a wedding gift and it's slated to arrive 3 days before the wedding. Cleaning a very tarnished sterling silver tea set is very time consuming. You also want to make sure that it's a matched set. I've seen unmatched sterling silver tea sets for sale online. So those are two questions that I'd ask and get the answer in writing.
Six Piece Gorham Silver Tea Sets
Great Finds on Ebay!
Gorgeous and Sophisticated Gorham Sterling Silver Tea Set
Distinctive Six-Piece Gorham Tea Set
You should also make sure that it is sterling silver and not silver-plated, if that's important to you. Of course you should confirm the condition of the pieces. Ask specifically if there are any dings or dents on the bottom and parts that you don't see clearly in the pictures. Have any of the seams or creases been caulked.
If you're buying an antique or vintage sterling silver tea set, it might be personalized or monogrammed. I would consider this part of the charm of an antique. But there are people who might not. So if this is a wedding or anniversary gift, I would make sure that it's pristine.
Don't let all of these cautions frighten you from purchasing an expensive Gorham silver tea set on ebay. You can check out the seller's Positive Feedback Rating and comments to see how previous buyers have been treated. If you want to be very cautious, then stick with Top Rated Sellers. These guys are ebay's best. They receive that designation because they sell lots of stuff on ebay and consistently meet ebay's guidelines for great customer service.