A Sterling Legacy

Photography by Stephanie Welbourne Steele. Styling by Melissa Sturdivant Smith

It once was that a Southern girl, in a coming-of-age ritual, went shopping with her mother (and perhaps a grandmother or aunt) to select a silver pattern. This allowed family and friends to gift pieces for birthdays or holidays and assured she would have a considerable trousseau when she married. Even more certain was the newly engaged bride’s registry for a formal setting to make purchasing a wedding present easy for guests. That’s not always the case these days, but it doesn’t mean newlyweds aren’t interested in accumulating silver.

“Everybody who comes into the store now tells me young people aren’t really interested in silver. We actually have quite a few young customers,” says Duncan Cox, who owns As You Like It Silver Shop in New Orleans. Duncan’s mom, Helen, opened the shop in the early 1970s with a focus on antique furniture, but sterling soon became her sole passion. He took over the business in 1995 and now specializes in restoring pieces and fixing damaged items like a spoon that accidentally got gobbled up by a garbage disposal.