White Star Line Restaurant Soup Tureen ex-OlympicItem Number: 23461 Sold
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This silver soup tureen was made by Goldsmiths and Silversmiths in 1911 for use in the à la carte restaurant on board Olympic. It seems that this exclusive and very well-made pattern of silver was used only on Olympic and Titanic. The silver is of a heavy gauge and not made by a traditional hotel plate maker (such as Elkington). White Star really wanted to impress in the restaurant. High-quality silver and Royal Dalton china paired with exquisite food and the best wines helped make this the finest dining room at sea. It is hard to believe that the standards of service in the main dining room could be improved upon; however, that is just what White Star did in the restaurant. It was all individual, table-side service as the size of this soup tureen suggests. The size is important because displaying it is made much easier as it is not a large as a “communal” tureen from the main dining room.
With most of Titanic’s silver on the sea floor and no other ship in the White Star fleet having used this pattern, we can safely say this piece was used on Olympic. It likely made its way down to us today via the Queen Mary or Queen Elizabeth. Cunard White Star, ever frugal and in the midst of the depression, transferred large amounts of silver and other useful items from Olympic and Majestic before they were scrapped. To this day, you can see quite a number of silver White Star items on display on board the QM. In fact, they have some nice examples of restaurant silver in their display. Luckily it still has its original ladle. As far as I know, there are only a couple of these left in the world. Measures about 10″ from handle to handle and stand about 7″ tall. It is in excellent condition with some loss of silver on the inside of the piece perhaps where the ladle rubbed the bottom. You can not see this when the cover is in place and the item is on display. Rare doesn’t describe it!