Featured Need advice on Silver & silver plate knives and forks

Discussion in 'Silver' started by L0z, Apr 19, 2019.

  1. L0z

    L0z Active Member

    I have been going through some silverware that’s been in storage for sometime awaiting my attention in a bid to source it’s history. I stumbled across a rather interesting collection on very old knives and forks that are just oozing with detail, yet quite confusing! Please see photos, what we have here is 3 fish knives and forks. On the knives you can see a floral design and the ‘star of david’ with symbol in the centre, what I can only assume is some kind of Hebrew symbol? Also on the knife there is the marks MHA&S / EPNS, so clearly they are plated. However, on the section between the knife and the mother of Pearl handle, there is another mark....a mark that indicates silver? The mark is FC / crown / lion / and what appears to be a letter E or B (but it’s worn and difficult to see) Regardless, what we have here are two different makers, both British as well as the star and Hebrew! Is there such a thing as ‘cross breeding cutlery’ as the only explanation I can come up with is that maybe the handles were added/replaced separately. It would be great if I could find out some info on these seperate detailings and also overall (ie, history, age, any value etc) the forks by the way, display the same floral pattern as the knives but no reference to the EPNS but the same silver marks on the top of the handles? Any info would be fantastic - thanks!

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    Last edited: Apr 19, 2019
  2. Barn Owl

    Barn Owl Well-Known Member

    I actually had a set of fish knives like that, with sterling (British marked) collars but EPNS blades marked by a different maker. I always assumed that the knives were assembled using components from different makers.

    I'm slightly confused about the Star of David mark--is it a decorative element on the knives or is it a maker's mark? If it's a decorative element, that just points toward the cutlery set being owned by a Jewish family.
  3. L0z

    L0z Active Member

    Yes it appears to be hand engraved as they are not very uniform :) I think its safe to say that a Jewish family would have been the owners, I just think it makes the set significantly more intriguing :)
  4. Any Jewelry

    Any Jewelry Well-Known Member

    It is a gorgeous set, love the mop handles, and yes, once Jewish-owned.
    Two different makers are not very likely. Custom engraved probably.
    L0z, could you please go back to 'edit' and click on 'full image' so the photos appear full image? It will make it easier for us to tell you more.
    Last edited: Apr 19, 2019
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  5. L0z

    L0z Active Member

    sure :)

    **Note the handles are odd sizes, some longer than others etc ? :S
  6. Dave47

    Dave47 Active Member

    One ought to note that silverware intended for Passover use is generally kept separate from all other utensils. The use of the Magen David on utensils, to me, indicates such separate usage. The light usage of the utensils serves to confirm that opinion.
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  7. Bakersgma

    Bakersgma Well-Known Member

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  8. Dave47

    Dave47 Active Member

    Haft and blade in that period were not made by the same company! Tiffany hafts of that period are often of sterling, and the blades are of German steel, as a rule.
    L0z likes this.
  9. Bakersgma

    Bakersgma Well-Known Member

    Calm down, Dave. ;) Did you miss the "not" in my last sentence? :)
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  10. Dave47

    Dave47 Active Member

    I also saw "apparently" when the truth is that jewelers do not make good knives <g>. Finding the same marking on haft and blade is what I would find surprising. Thank you.
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  11. Fid

    Fid Well-Known Member

    fish is very often eaten on sabbath. some families are so strict that they have own flatare sets for this day.
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  12. evelyb30

    evelyb30 Well-Known Member

    I think the Hebrew in the center of the Star is someone's name, or at least initials. If I were guessing I'd say these were a wedding gift at some point.
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  13. DragonflyWink

    DragonflyWink Well-Known Member

    Would suggest that jewelers didn't typically make knives, but unless the blades were made of silver, American silver manufacturers did usually use blades made by other firms, though not always bearing the blade manufacturer's mark. Not that I see any reason German blades wouldn't have been used (aside from certain time periods), but what is your reference for antique Tiffany sterling handles having German steel blades, "as a rule"? My experience with old Tiffany flatware blades, whether plated steel or nickel silver, is that they're usually marked only with the Tiffany name or with an added 'England' or 'Made in England', and most likely ordered from Sheffield manufacturers (but there were certainly U.S. cutlers who could provide blades as well - somewhere in my files is a very old article stating that the imported blades were actually quite a bit less expensive).

    Tiffany MOP-handled fruit knives with sterling ferrules and plated steel blades marked 'England': https://www.ebay.com/itm/19th-c-4pc...093610?hash=item4b6102632a:g:ZwoAAOSwu~5bwO-q

    There were most definitely English makers that produced both the sterling, sterling mounted, silverplate handles as well as their plated steel blades, Walker & Hall is the first to come to mind (they also provided blades to other silver manufacturers) - this set, with ivory or faux ivory handles, bears W & H electroplate marks on the blades and their sterling marks on the ferrules: https://www.ebay.com/itm/Antique-Se...772179?hash=item3b2f7cb413:g:cSoAAOSw5D1cqios

    Regarding the OP's pieces, feel sure that Bakersgma has properly identified the date letter on the sterling ferrule, the maker appears to be Francis Cholerton http://www.silvermakersmarks.co.uk/Makers/Sheffield-F.html#FC - don't recognize the maker of the blades. Often see slight variances in the shape and/or length of mother of pearl or ivory handles, though it is a bit much on that one fork, still believe it's probably original to the set (which would guess was probably six settings, split by two heirs) - the unusual engraving is a nice feature, making them Judaica and adding to their value...

    Last edited: Apr 19, 2019
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  14. Dave47

    Dave47 Active Member

    I have several sets of old Tiffany meat carving utensils - each of which has German steel blades and Tiffany sterling hafts. J.A.Henckels TwinWorks, Solingen. I rather thought that was then a likely story for other Tiffany blades, as Henckel is a pretty well-known maker. I could be wrong.
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  15. L0z

    L0z Active Member

    Thank you for all your comments and info! So combining all the details we’ve established do they hold any value?
  16. komokwa

    komokwa The Truth is out there...!

    sure they do....
    as silver...as judaica ....
    but as to the price...........that's up to u...
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  17. L0z

    L0z Active Member

    Thank you....I have no idea what they are worth. If they were yours how much do you think you would want for them?
  18. komokwa

    komokwa The Truth is out there...!

    seeing as how there are only 3 of each...( a set of 4 would be preferred..) ...
    I'd want no less than $50 each..

    being you're in the UK....there are tons of silverware pieces floating around for much less...so I'd focus on the Judaica aspect of the items , the etching and handmade twist handles..... & maybe even ask a few pounds more.....

    But they're not mine..... or Mom's ..... so take that with a grain of salt ! :)
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