Sterling Silver Baby Gifts
To celebrate its centenary, the RICHARD Goldsmith Workshop invited the collective 5.5 Designers to shake up its codes and tradition and reinterpret its expertise in a collection of unusual baby and birth gifts. With curiosity, passion and humor, RICHARD goldsmiths has imagined “Welcome!”, a collection that is the antithesis of mass-manufactured products and yet has the undeniable stamp of fine Arts and Crafts.
above: silversmith at Richard forging the collection
Born with a silver spoon in your mouth, or rather a service spoons in their hands. This collection of “birth spoons” was born of the encounter between real expertise and a desire to bring up to date that forgotten tradition of family ties at the time of arrival of the a child.
Spoons were originally made of wood, they were then mostly made of tin. But in wealthy families, it was tradition that the sponsor offers his godson or goddaughter a sterling silver spoon at the time of his or her baptism. This object was thus a symbol ensuring prosperity for the child. The sponsor also offered a cup, a metaphor for money, with the first name and date of birth. These beliefs were widespread and many of us still have our baby cup, rattle and cutlery in a drawer.
above: the egg cup under construction
Today, the act of giving birth or baby gifts is still practiced, but the spoon, the object of life par excellence seems to have gone by the wayside. It is by diverting the archetype of the spoon, using it as raw material, that RICHARD and 5.5 have designed a collection that revisits the classic gifts of birth.
Below are all the pieces in the collection followed by images of the crafting of these items.
The curved spoon functions as both a napkin holder, a place to store the bib or as a teething ring:
By cutting and welding the spoon surfaces to a cup, they become a generous handle and the ears of happy little character.
Planted in a dish, the elegant egg cup has a place for blotters:
The addition of multiple sterling silver rings and handle detailing turns this spoon into a lovely rattle:
This beautiful spoon is equipped with a guard and detailing on the handle:
Welding two spoon surfaces together makes this double as a feeding tool and a place to hold snacks:
All these variations on the iconic baby gifts are versions that make you want to be senile or make older children wish they were still young.
Since its founding in 1910, the Richard Goldsmith workshop covered forged sterling silver using traditional methods of French goldsmiths. A recognized expert in restoration of antique pieces, Richard Goldsmith Workshop also produces custom-made parts, prototypes and limited series.
above: 5.5 designers, Paris 2011