What’s repurposed sterling silver flatware? Our definition of a repurposed piece is one that results from taking components from old flatware pieces to create a new, different piece. The most common example is a piece where someone has taken a recycled sterling knife handle and attached some other implement to it. It’s not an original piece from the manufacturer of the pattern.
Here are some examples of the types of pieces one often sees in the repurposed category:
- asparagus server
- macaroni server
- pasta server
Here are links to the types of pieces being addressed. These could be original or they could be repurposed. We just want to show what type of piece might fall into this category:
- asparagus servers (note same head, different handles)
- pasta server
Not all such pieces are repurposed; some may be original pieces from the manufacturer. The picture accompanying this article is from a manufacturer; it is included simply to show an example of the type of construction used for most of the pieces in question. And, in all fairness, we should state that there is nothing wrong with a repurposed piece. In fact, we once owned a repurposed asparagus server. What is wrong is when the seller does not disclose that the piece is repurposed. A reputable seller will disclose this fact. It’s common to see terms like “custom” or “handmade” to describe pieces like this.
We understand that a repurposed piece might address a specific need of a collector. So, they are just fine as long as:
- The buyer has a need that can be addressed by a repurposed piece
- The price is appropriate
- The buyer likes the look and feel of the piece
- The seller discloses that the piece is repurposed
What brings this subject to mind yet again is a plethora of repurposed pieces being offered on eBay. Not all of the sellers disclose in their listings that the pieces are not original from the manufacturer. Here are some clues to look for:
- The handles strongly resemble dinner knife handles
- The seller offers strikingly similar pieces in many patterns
- The seller offers many pieces that have similar handles but different utility ends
Some repurposed pieces are not made with knife handles but are “carved” from other pieces. For example, a teaspoon or dessert spoon might be converted into an ice cream spoon.
If you are unsure regarding a piece you are considering buying, ask the seller about it.