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How to Set Your Table.

placesetting.jpg (49066 bytes)
Shown: A six piece setting in Old Master by  Towle

From left to right:  Salad Fork, place fork, place knife modern blade), teaspoon, soup spoon  with the individual butter spreader at the top of the plate.

Place your dinner plate on your table in front of the chair.  On the right side of the plate, place your entree knife with the blade facing in toward the plate.  ( You will notice that most engraving, if you have your silverware monogrammed,  faces away from you.).  To the right of the knife place your teaspoon.  To the right of the teaspoon, place your soup spoon.  (This can be either your round bowl, cream soup or the more versatile oval/place soup.
To the left of your plate, place the entree fork and then the salad fork.  If you are using a bread plate you may place it either to the left of the forks or slightly above them.  You, then, may place your bread and butter knife either on the bread plate or above the plate as shown in the picture.  In either case the blade should be facing toward the dinner plate.  Your glasses go above the knives with the water glasses closest to the plate.  Your wine glasses will go to the right of your water glass.  Your napkin may go on the plate as shown above or be placed to the left of your forks. You may use your luncheon size settings,  your place size settings or your dinner size settings for the same occasions. It is no longer necessary to have more than one size knife and fork. Many years ago when life was more formal and silver was owned by the very well to do with many servants, there was a larger size  knife and fork used for formal dinners. Dinner size knives are between 9 1/2" to 10" long. Forks are between 7 1/2" to 8 " long.  They are a bit more bulky. There was also a luncheon size knife and fork for the more informal supper or luncheon.  The luncheon size knife is approximately 9" long.  The forks are approximately 7" long. In the fifties, a third size was made by some companies to compromise between the two.  This was called the place size.  It has a knife that is is usually approximately  9 1/4" long.  The handle is usually longer than the handles on either the luncheon knife or dinner fork. The fork is usually  7 1/4" long.  The Gorham Company stamps their place size knife and fork with a tiny p inside of a diamond on the back of the entree fork, beside the sterling stamp

All three sizes are still being made.  It is your own, personal decision as to which size you prefer.

A new size, the oversized continental size, which is even larger than the dinner size is being made in a few patterns.  This corresponds to the size that you will see in some European countries.

Pictured Here a Comparison of Place Size & Dinner Size in the Pattern " French Renaissance "  by  Reed & Barton.

compare

 

There are also 2 types of knife blades.  The most current blade is the modern blade.  If you look at where the handle meets the blade,  the blade itself is very similar on both sides & flows into the handle is a smooth, graceful line.  The older style is the french blade.  If you look where the handle meets the blade, one side of the blade juts out in a manner similar to a hatchet.  These were made is several styles. The old french is a wider blade.  The new french tapers off more when it gets to the end of the blade.  

French Blade Knife
sterling silver flatware

Modern Blade Knife
sterling silver flatware

Click on this link to read about "grille" size.  What is grille size?

If you are using a teacup and saucer, they go to the right of your soup spoon.
If you plan to serve a separate fish course, we recommend the luncheon knife and fork.  Very few patterns have their own fish knife and fork.  Especially if you are using the dinner size setting, the luncheon knife and fork will substitute nicely for the fish knife and fork.

The basic serving pieces in sterling, silver plated and stainless flatware are a table serving spoon, 1 pierced (slotted) table serving spoon, a meat serving fork,
a master butter server & a sugar spoon.  
The gravy ladle used to be considered very necessary but recently the pie/cake server has replaced it. 
Many people no longer serve as many foods with gravy.  It is still available. 
It is usually necessary to have two to three table serving spoons. 
More than one pie/cake server may be needed for your party buffet with more than one dessert that needs to be sliced and served.


There are many other pieces available. 
Go to our individual piece page.

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