Oneida Chateau, Tuscany, Azalea Decorative Steel Flatware/Silverware Review
The three decorative silverware collections discussed in this review – Chateau, Tuscany, and Azalea – reveal that it's possible to be traditional, yet at the same time exhibit awareness of modern touches and possible artistic possibilities. Oneida do the latter with the verve and assuredness of a company that's confident in its design resources.
The most surprising feature of Chateau flatware is that despite its evident kinship to such classic names as Michelangelo and Dover, it is the nearly modern writhing Aquarius that seems stand out as it most natural ally. Both collections demonstrate powerful, curving lines – they intersect and writhe in Aquarius, and almost do so at the waist in Chateau – and overall respect for space. Of course, unlike the unorthodox, ocean inspired former design, Chateau also includes the benefit of being a traditionally built cutlery.
Azalea silverware is nothing if not traditional – the handles appear to replicate a scepter, with the uppermost segment looking very much like a crown. This design relies on its unusual geometrical shape rather than ornament depth to leave a lasting impression; the tip especially is memorable, bringing to mind the elaborate pieces of jewelry (golden ball, cross, a large precious stone, or other) topping the monarch's hat.
Dinner in a Chateau in Tuscany? Sure, why not. Oneida, at least, don't seem to mind, assigning the two designs into its decorative department – both occupying two opposite sides of the stylistic spectrum. Indeed, Tuscany flatware takes us into the mid 20th century, when the institution of family has already passed through several additional revolutions, neither of which has necessarily strengthened – or weakened said institution.
What's certain is that notions of fun, and even chaos, previously considered inappropriate, have become rightful residents in contemporary family life.
Tuscany flatware embodies these irreverent, common, Pop Art ideas almost gleefully: irregular shapes and lines that create an additional level on the handles, and instigate an exciting light and shade interplay as a result.