For Ice cream? Fish?

lindacMay 2, 2012

No markings at all....very fine "engraving on one side of the blade, no signs of any of the silver showing wear.

Any ideas? Old unmarked coin? plate?....fish? Ice cream? any idea of the pattern name?

Linda C

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antiquesilver

How long is it? It looks like a cake saw (always has 'teeth') but the pointed end is reminiscent of fish. It's probably coin w/machine turned engraving, c.1850-70's, & that may be too early for ice cream but it doesn't look substantial enough for ice cream either.

The pattern reminds me of pieces by Wood & Hughes or perhaps Whiting.

When & where did you score this beauty?

    Bookmark   May 2, 2012 at 2:40PM
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lindac

It's 10 3/4 inches long and very sturdy...not at all flexable.
And one edge is a saw edge and the other a knife edge.
I payed about $30 for that and some other pieces at an auction about 15 years ago.
Now I have to dig and see if I can find the other pieces I bought at the same time.

    Bookmark   May 2, 2012 at 4:06PM
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antiquesilver

If this is coin you got a super deal as I paid over $200 for a coin cake saw in the late 1990's but mine is marked Wood & Hughes so I knew it wasn't plate. At the time, $200 was somewhat of a bargain as cake saws are hard to come by. Yours is also about 1.25" longer than mine & is a size more often seen for ice cream but the teeth are a mystery. I don't recall ever seeing them on anything but a cake saw (or a bread knife) & they don't work all that well for those purposes so ice cream seems unlikely. Hmmmm.....

    Bookmark   May 2, 2012 at 4:36PM
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antiquesilver

Congratulations, you have a much prized cake saw!

When I got home, I pulled out my cake saw - & it's shaped like yours, point & all. Besides the monogram, the only mark on it is a very small 'W&H'. (My bread knife with the plated, saw tooth blade also has this shape but the Wallace catalogs identify this is for bread).

I wasn't able to i.d. the pattern but most of the major silver makers used similar shapes in the 1860's & 1870's. Even if it's plate, which I doubt, & the engraving looks good you made a good buy & if it's coin, you should do the happy dance!

    Bookmark   May 2, 2012 at 6:25PM
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antiquesilver

I was wrong, perish the thought. It's plate.

After I posted, I decided to look thru s/p patterns & it popped up on the 2nd page! The pattern is Empress (1883) by Aurora/Derby.

My head is hanging in shame & I'm off to drown my sorrows!

    Bookmark   May 2, 2012 at 6:35PM
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cyn427 (zone 7)

It is a pretty piece, Linda!

    Bookmark   May 2, 2012 at 7:38PM
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lindac

Sigh....I am broken hearted! My silver expert friend who died about 4 years ago, told me when I bought it that he thought it was plate.....but he couldn't cite examples just his gut....based on lots of experience with old silver.
His wife is the one who bought the toddy ladle!
My sorrows are drowning as we "speak"....

    Bookmark   May 2, 2012 at 8:30PM
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antiquesilver

The fact that it isn't marked threw me. A couple of times I've spied these at shows - small price tags & they looked good - & was shocked when I turned them over to find a s/p mark. This is the first one I've seen without a stamp. I can't imagine they were used much so presumably that's how they remained in good condition.

    Bookmark   May 2, 2012 at 8:58PM
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antiquesilver

Does anybody have any ideas about the purpose of this knife? I've never seen one like it - maybe for breaking something apart rather than cutting, like ice???? I put a small bid on it but don't expect to win it.

Here is a link that might be useful: weird knife

    Bookmark   May 5, 2012 at 3:44PM
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lindac

Muffin breaker? With that stop on the blade....??????

    Bookmark   May 5, 2012 at 4:50PM
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antiquesilver

I never heard of one but it makes sense - & it gives a purpose for the thumb-like appendage. Judging by the length, it's definitely a serving piece so I suppose one would split his muffin before placing on his individual plate. I need a really detailed book on Victorian table manners!

    Bookmark   May 5, 2012 at 5:43PM
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antiquesilver

According to google, Mr. Thomas started the craze for English muffins in the US in the late 19th century in NYC so the time frame is perfect for a silver muffin splitter.

Does it work for that purpose? We'll see....maybe!

    Bookmark   May 5, 2012 at 6:34PM
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chibimimi

Or is the blade sharp enough to be a cheese knife? The teeth would be used to grab the slice. I have one with two teeth at the end for this purpose.

    Bookmark   May 5, 2012 at 9:44PM
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antiquesilver

Chibimimi, is your cheese knife similar to this one - like a master butter knife but with a comb top?

The problem is the one on ebay is about 2" longer plus the teeth look saw-like rather than a spearing tool.

    Bookmark   May 5, 2012 at 10:27PM
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lindac

I wonder if the one you are bidding on could be used to take a piece off of a wheel of cheddar?

    Bookmark   May 5, 2012 at 11:22PM
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chibimimi

Mine is larger than a master butter, and doesn't have the "hip" -- the blade is on a plane with the handle.

I'll see if I can take a picture of it. In the meantime, it's shaped somewhat like this one from eBay.

Here is a link that might be useful: One of many cheese knives on eBay

    Bookmark   May 5, 2012 at 11:45PM
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antiquesilver

Linda, I wondered about that, too, but wouldn't the cheese crumble instead of slicing? Unless of course it was used to break off a large chunk & that seems in rather poor taste for those well mannered Victorians, LOL.

Chibimimi, I've seen modern knives like the one you limked sold as cheese knives but the old ones from Greenleaf & Crosby were actually orange knives & sold as souveniers of FL (note the orange motif). They work well for cheese, too, but the prongs are long & narrow enough to use as a pick.

I have a feeling this utensil is going to remain a mystery; I haven't been able to find anything remotely like it. Upon magnification, the teeth are not even - it's not evident in the 1st photo, but the 3rd one shows 2 in the midsection are slightly shorter. And the purpose of that is....?????????

    Bookmark   May 6, 2012 at 12:51AM
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antiquesilver

Look what else showed up on ebay! The seller doesn't know what it is either but at least I now know who else was making them. And I think Krider may have made pieces for retailers to re-badge.

Here is a link that might be useful: Peter Krider mystery piece

    Bookmark   May 6, 2012 at 1:43AM
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lindac

So....we know there are more....and made in at least 2 patterns.
Now to find something like it in an old catalog to see what they called it.
Linda C

    Bookmark   May 6, 2012 at 9:42AM
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antiquesilver

An update to let everyone know that didn't win the auction - it seems like a lot of people want a mystery knife! (sigh)... Now I won't get to play with it to figure out its real use.

If anybody out there reading this was the winner, I'd love to hear your IRL impression.

In the last few days I've researched everything I can find on Peter Krider & there isn't much in the way of flatware; high quality but fairly typical 1860-1870's design. Exquisiste brite cut engraving on simple shapes with standard patterns seems to be the norm but I did find several pieces in this pattern which I've named 'Tulip'. I'm sure the scholars will be so pleased that I've named it for them, LOL!

    Bookmark   May 10, 2012 at 12:06AM
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