Elegant antique French Napoleon III era 26pc knife set, a service for twelve in dinner & luncheon or dessert knives with carved genuine ivory handles, sterling ferrules and 'RP' monograms! A great set, not only are they some of the finest ivory handled pieces we have but they'd go wonderfully with the popular seashell themed patterns and the blades are truly in exceptional condition. A full service for twelve in 9 3/4" dinner and " luncheon or dessert sizes. All kept in what appears to be the original two layer black tooled leather storage chest, complete with polished brass handle and clasps! A bit about French sterling flatware and the Heritage (with capital H) and Traditions (with capital T) that help define it as the best in the world: A traditional wedding gift, these magnificent French sterling silver flatware sets were almost always packaged without knives. Why is this? Another French tradition has to do with the gift of knives or a knife as a symbol of the cutting or ending of a relationship. And no where on earth is tradition more important, perhaps, than to the French culture. So, in light of the symbolism of the gift, knives were not part of a wedding gift, not packaged or even usually made with the matching pattern of the forks, spoons in a set, and are something added later and as compliments to the table's sterling silver choice. And ever the center influence in fashion, this also opportuned the happy result of knives made in coordinating and complimenting fashion with handles of rich elegant mother of pearl, fine ivory, blond natural horn, or exotic hardwoods like ebony (a French Empire 'must') walnut, rosewood. The result is that you can add sets of knives to compliment and define your table setting. More about knives: Louis XIV, A renaissance man if ever there were one, The Sun King - builder of Versailles, was also the man responsible for the design of the modern table knife. Prior to his time, knives used at table were similar to knives used to kill game, fight wars, and possibly kill Kings. There was a time when knives were even banned from table for such intrigues, and it was Louis XIV's table upon which the blunt and rounded tip knives for dining were introduced to the world at large. A side note: With the massive size of the dinner fork and spoon in French sterling, one need not look to the knife as a weapon - as one of my customers once suggested, and I paraphrase here here: These things are heavy enough to kill a guest if thrown. She is correct - they weigh in nearly double the large tablespoon of, say, the equivalent set made in America by Gorham or Whiting - "Lily", which tablespoon is more closely in line size and weight-wise with the entremet spoon in French flatware. An elegant addition to your fine sterling silver table setting, don't miss them!
Very good condition. There are a few age or drying cracks in the ivory handles but no chips, breaks or repairs to not. The blades are all just as you see them, in great shape with very little to no corrosion or tarnish. The box is in fine shape, missing side ribbons that told the lid open but the handle and both clasps are intact and in fine working order. See pictures for measurements.
NOTE This item will be handled and shipped from our Utah office, and is not available to California customers, sorry.
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Antique French sterling silver, Georgian jewelry, sewing, Black Forest, etc 17th to 19th c. European
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