Gorham Antique Mixed Metal Japanese Design Fruit Knives, set of 6, 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 six knives are unique in their design.
The various themes are of elaborate swords, foo dogs, monkeys, turtles, warriors and large coy fish. Gold is used to highlight the decorations.
The original box is covered in a patterned velvet with a branch and two birds on the top. It is lined with blue silk and stamped by the retailer 'MAX MEYER & BRO/ OMAHA'. The underside of the box retains two labels. One is for 'Max Meyer & Bro.' and the other is from Gorham. Handwritten on the Gorham label is '#5 - 6 Fruit Kns/ inlay' 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 condition with very minor wear to a couple of gilt spots.
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