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Sterling Silver Dresser Set

Public Submission
Brantford, Ontario
Circa 1918
Materials & techniques
Sterling silver; Metalwork
Unknown - possibly Birks
My grandmother, Esther Gwendolyn Coate (nee Wilkes), grew up in Brantford, Ontario, the youngest of five children of a lawyer. Her family was prominent in the town. She would have been given this set as a teenager, a rite of passage from childhood to an adult. She always had it displayed on the dressing table in her bedroom. It consists of a mirror, a brush, a nail buffer, a nail file, and a button hook. She would sit at the table and comb her hair, put on her makeup and jewellery each morning.

I inherited the set along with the dressing table after she died. I tried to use the table but found that it was took up too much space in my bedroom and really didn’t suit my lifestyle. The dresser set now is displayed on a table in my dining room. It reminds me of my grandmother and a time when everyday objects like brushes and mirrors were also things of beauty and value.
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