Still muddling through my knife storage boxes trying to organize and catalog them.One of them is an antique cigar storage box probably used in a smoke shop.The thing has 12 drawers in it and I use it to store most of my smaller knives.At last count there was over 700 of the little buggers inside it.It has become quite a challenge to take out each drawer;pick out each knife one at a time and photograph them and then log them into my document file with all the relevant information.Each knife usually has 3 pictures showing both sides and the tang stamp if any.
In one of the drawers is my accumulation of sterling silver fruit knives along with sterling (and a few gold)handled pocket knives.As my computer isn't capable of typing out silver hallmarks I just kind of lumped them all together under one heading. Some are all silver(or gold)while others have pearl handles sometimes with people's initials or names carved into the handles.
First produced in the 18th century these were usually deemed a proper gift for a man to give to a lady.While the majority of them originated in England they were also produced in France and the USA.The hallmarked ones are easy to identify as to maker and date but many are simply stamped,"sterling" or,"coin" for silver with a content of 925 parts silver for sterling and 900 parts silver for coin.Some are silver plated. There are lower grades as well(800 parts is used in Mexico)as is there different grades of gold.
Some are single blade while others have a second blade that is used to remove seeds from fruit.There were also sets made that featured a matching fork.The workmanship in some of these knives is amazing including intricate engraving in the metal of the handles,blades,and even the back springs as well as the carved pearl and the art of "piquing" which involves drilling tiny holes in the handles and inserting tiny silver pins in geometric designs.
This post may extend for several postings as I have a goodly number of these knives so please be patient.
First up will be a picture of the box that contains them to give you an idea of how big a task this is.Shown is the outside of the box and a couple of the drawers.The drawers are divided into two sections so some of the pics only show one side.