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Where's Waldorf's silverware? Stolen items returned to hotel after 85 years

By Eoghan Macguire, for CNN
January 22, 2013 -- Updated 0311 GMT (1111 HKT)
A steel bottle opener returned to the Waldorf Astoria by an anonymous donor. The famous hotel's amnesty program aims to reclaim items guests have taken with them over the years. Although the popular program officially ended in September last year, items continue to pour in. A steel bottle opener returned to the Waldorf Astoria by an anonymous donor. The famous hotel's amnesty program aims to reclaim items guests have taken with them over the years. Although the popular program officially ended in September last year, items continue to pour in.
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The Waldorf Astoria Amnesty Program
Cutlery call-back
Universally panned
25,000 spoons
Smokers' choice
Light snacks, light fingers
Knives out
Guilty pleasures
Silver service
Honeymoon hi-jinx
High-roller coaster
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STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • The Waldorf Astoria has been running an amnesty in an attempt to reclaim items taken from the hotel
  • A wide array of classic and valuable items continue to pour in
  • Submissions include colorful tea pots and silver plated coasters, with some dating back to the 1920's

(CNN) -- The Waldorf Astoria in New York City has long been a byword for exquisite luxury, style and success.

From Franklin D. Roosevelt and Frank Sinatra to Queen Elizabeth II and Elizabeth Taylor, the hotel's guestbook reads like an A-list of twentieth century historical figures -- not to mention tens of thousands of well-to-do tourists and travelers.

Over the years however some sticky-fingered guests have tried to claim a little bit of the Waldorf magic for themselves, checking out with hotel items as a souvenir of their stay.

See also: The best business hotels in 2012

Since last summer, the Waldorf has been running an amnesty program designed to reclaim these long lost goods.

The result has seen the return of precious items pilfered as long ago as the 1920's, many of which provide a fascinating perspective on the history of the hotel and those who stayed there.

Although the amnesty officially ended in September, goods are still pouring in from ex-guests and their family descendents.

The best items are currently displayed on the Waldorf Astoria's archive website while a small selection are being exhibited at the hotel itself.

Check out the gallery above to see some of the of the items reclaimed and the charming history they have accumulated in their absence.

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