The collector: Silvana de Soissons, Italian cook and food writer (UK)
The collection: Vintage kitchenalia
The story behind the collection...
From charity shop to junk shop, antique shop, fairs and private sales, I have been able to source crockery, cutlery, glassware, enamelware, linens, pots, pans, cruets, wooden boards, mincers and even tiles. I love to talk to kitchenalia dealers, because they are often as obsessive about these objects as I am, and their knowledge often informs my buying. I ask lots of questions about provenance and I always think about the life of the person who had the object before me. Each piece has a narrative, which in many cases, sadly, is lost forever because it has changed hands so many times. The National Trust is very conscientious at preserving these narratives, so I am a keen visitor of the kitchens in their stewardship.
I am a food stylist so my hoard comes in very handy for photo shoots. You can never have enough monogrammed napkins, silver spoons, patterned china or small vases when you are trying to put together a sequence or series of photographs for a magazine or a book. The retro style is very popular, with many food and lifestyle magazines now trying to source the very pieces which Victorian scullery maids would have probably been using every day. Some pieces are very recherche.
Silvana is the founder of The Foodie Bugle, an online co-operative magazine dedicated to the sourcing, preparation and enjoyment of good food and drink. She also has a personal blog at silvanadesoisson.com
All images © Silvana de Soissons and used with her kind permission.