Gorham Antique Mixed Metal Japanese Design Fruit Knives, set of 12, Providence, RI, c. 1880
In their original box, these wonderful fruit knives consist of sterling blades with attached bronze handles with gilt highlights.
According to Charles Carpenter in Gorham Silver (p. 100), "The Japanese prototypes for Gorham's Japanese knives were the small ko-gatama knives with removable push-on handles called kodzuka."
The shaped blades are engraved on both sides with bamboo and various flora. The handles are beautiful castings. Made from two pieces which are soldered together, the handles have identical scenes on both sides. Textured surfaces are used as a background to the high relief of the decoration. Each of the 12 knives is unique in its design. The various themes are elaborate scenes of figures, birds, insects, etc. Gold is used to highlight the decorations.
The original box is covered in a patterned velvet. It is lined with red, gold, brown and black silk. The underside of the box retains its Gorham label. Handwritten on the Gorham label is "5. 12 Fruit Knives" along with factory codes.
These wonderful knives are marked with Gorham's trademark and "STERLING/ 5." They measure 7.75 inches long and are in very good/ excellent antique condition.
Here is an archival photograph:
Gorham Archives Image Courtesy of the John Hay Library, Brown University.
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