Baptism is an important (some would say vital) rite within the Christian Church. The ceremony, usually followed with a meal or other gathering, has become an opportunity to give a meaningful gift to the little one. In the Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries, silver became the gift of choice as the precious metal was believed to confer healthful properties and was also a symbol of prosperity. Thus, a silver Christening gift would convey a wish for the health and success of the newborn.
Since the Victorian Age, useful gifts—especially items associated with nourishment—have been popular. Silver spoons (perhaps engraved with the baptismal date) were very common (and could be used to feed the child). Cups, bowls and egg cups were other functional choices. Sometimes a silver rattle or pacifier was given. Frames, music boxes or keepsake boxes were other options. And jewelry, especially a cross or crucifix, was meaningful and appropriate.
This hand-hammered and silver-plated Christening Cup, made in the Teens or Twenties, is a handsome and traditional gift. One nice feature is the fact that the cup has never been engraved with a name, monogram or date. Click on the photo above to learn more about it.
Though our Greenwich Village store is now permanently closed, LEO Design is still alive and well! Please visit our on-line store where we continue to sell Handsome Gifts (www.LEOdesignNYC.com).
We also can be found in Pittsburgh's historic "Strip District" at Mahla & Co. Antiques (www.mahlaantiques.com) or in Canonsburg, Pennsylvania at The Antique Center of Strabane (www.antiquecenterofstrabane.com).
Or call to arrange to visit our Pittsburgh showroom (by private appointment only). 917-446-4248