in honor of the Kentucky Derby....

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my mint julep cup!

My antique mint julep cup is American coin silver made in the early 1800's by a New Orleans silversmith. It is engraved with the name "Wood."
We found the coin silver cup at a small antique mall in Carrolton, Texas years ago. It was heavily tarnished, and when silver tarnishes it can sometimes look like brass. The cup was marked:

Brass Cup $5

I examined the cup and noticed the marks on the bottom- the only marks are the silversmith's name and "New Orleans." I immediately knew from the font of the lettering and the weight of the cup that it was antique coin silver, and not a brass cup! Several years ago a mint julep cup, similar in style and condition (i.e. several small dents), made by this same maker sold on ebay for $1100!  Recently I found another similar cup by this maker up for auction for $2500!! :O  This is why we antique!!  I have kept the mint julep cup on my bedside table filled with flowers for years now- always with white (and only white;) miniature carnations!

For several years I hid my affection for white miniature carnations! When I was a young adult carnations were not a desired flower, even considered tacky by some. Whenever flowers were ordered from a florist you always specified NO carnations.
Then, one day early in our marriage Dan stopped at the grocery store to pick up some milk and also brought me some flowers.... white miniature carnations. I was touched by his sweet gesture, but silently thought... "carnations?? ewwwww!"  Then I placed them in a vase on my bedside table and proceeded to fall in love with their beautiful foliage (they look like miniature roses), their fresh fragrance and the fact that they lasted for two weeks! I was smitten. I hid my purchases in my grocery cart (their easy-to-find accessibility is another reason to love them;) fearing someone might see me buying the dreaded carnation until I discovered the wonderful "Seasons" Notebooks by the lovely Carolyne Roehm who made using all-carnations in an arrangement tre chic!! Thank you Carolyne!!

So, here's to mint juleps, white miniature carnations and Carolyne Roehm!!

Happy Derby Day!