Francis I silverware, baltar 30mm
Yes, I was born with a silver spoon, my first bowl of frosted flakes was consumed with one and I have used Francis I silver flatware ever since. I did not think them special.. that was what we had and used everyday.. funny as that seems now, I thought everybody used the same. It was not until college that I learned of silver plate or stainless steel flatware for home use. The flatware I have been using has come down to me from family and after many years of use and my children's abuse, it really looks pretty much like it did when I received it, used in good condition, not as shiny as my mother would like me to keep them however. They can be damaged, I am sure I got a few good wacks for digging weeds in our yard with a carving fork or using a serving spoon as a hammer, but I have come to appreciate its over-the-top design giving homage to the royal, Francis the 1st. Would I rather have Georg Jensen?.. ahh yeah, but with silver over $34 an once I don't see it happening.
Yesterday I was doing a test shot with before mentioned B&L Baltar 30mm lens and gave me the chance to reflect on the silver, how ornate, how royal and how not royal I am... well I thought, until asked yesterday to look at some family history notes and clippings my Aunt had sent me last week. Low and behold I see that what I dismissed as family here say was true, that my great grandmother was related to that British Royal trouble maker, American - Wallis Simpson. Her mother and my gr.great grandmother shared the same name Montague ( my grandmother who married into this line did not speak kindly of her )..yes, you have to go back a few Montague's in Virgina for the shared Peter Montague link. That was somewhat interesting..but what I really liked was seeing the Peter Montague connection and placing him in Jamestown in 1621 as a teenager, then seeing that he came from Boveney on the Thames, not more than 5 miles from my 15th Century cottage in Denham Village, both in South Buckinghamshire. Many researchers have traced his father right back to Joan of Acre, daughter of King Edward I, granddaughter of Henry III and so on..
along the way there are Earls, Dukes and Duchesses, lots of knights, Templars too, the founders of Bisham Priory just up the Thames from Boveney and founding members of the Order of the Garter..There are foreign campaigns, civil wars, uprisings and rebellions..lands seized, lands pardoned, executions, arranged marriages, secret marriages, secret societies and out right murder...they were royally busy.. but once you are no longer a first born of someone and in the inner circle of royals or your dad went and supported a doomed plot to overthrow the king you then had to make your own way as did this Peter Montague of Boveney, risking it all for Jamestown. He and his decedents did very well in Virgina, for generations, then once again, someone set out for the wilderness to make their own way, further west.
So the next time I pick up that silver I will think.. "yeah! I deserve to be using this silver spoon, I am of royal blood".. but for now I have to return to my real world, building a shed for my un-royal "rubbish bins." Maybe it will be one of my sons to break-out of the familiar, leave the "silver spoon " to explore and conquer new frontiers..or his daughter..as it just keeps going and going.