The blade features a restrained and well executed bit of engraving (please see third enlargement) with brite-cut foliage and shaded flowers.
The obverse features a refined bit of engraving, done by a skilled and steady hand.
As collectors will know, if any of them remain above ground, knives in this elegant old Durgin pattern are scarce.
For those of you who favor comparison shopping, a lighter and slightly beaten up version of this same piece may be "bought now" on the big bad auction site for a mere 591 moneys (see item 322373972047).
Compare our price with the folks who Replace your stuff @70.00
This piece is not commonly found.
If pressed as to why you, dear reader, should buy these Iris fish forks as opposed to some others listed elsewhere on the interwebz, I'd have to say that ours are probably in better condition. If pressed even harder, I'd confess that these are also attractively priced.
For those who favor comparison shopping, a similar though inferior pair by this same maker weighing only 5.7 oz. Troy sold at Julien's for 875.00 (See catalogue of the Ronnie & Jo Wood collection, 10/26/2012, lot 308).
With stylish foliate handles and an applied border, this is an exceptionally functional, high quality item.
It is also a bear to photograph, and these images sadly do not meet out usual standards. But have no fear, dear reader, we will try again, soon.
For those of you who favor comparison shopping, see item 150531578507 on the Great Bay of eeeeehs.
If only we knew a bit more about Minnie, a good tale might be told, but alas we know nothing of this lass.
Over the years, we've handled many many pieces of Martelé, and if you dear reader will forgive me for a bit of crudeness, most of them are "trashed." Specifically, the detail is severely worn away, leaving the beauty of the overall design still appreciable but no longer intact...
May I offer our apologies, dear reader, for having previously catalogued these as "Acorn"? Old age is taking its toll, here.
Compare other examples such as items 361767311810 (1875.00) and 131490471803 (2550.00) on the Big Bad auction page...
As our friend Don Soeffing has recounted in "The Battle of the Birds" (Silver Magazine, November/December 1995), production of this pattern was short lived, because W & H lost this particular battle against Tiffany for infringement of their design pattern...
Though not a "first demand" pattern, the Antique Ivies were made by several manufacturers, and involved extensive skill and hand work to produce. Expensive when first sold, they are members of a dying breed, as most flatware of this quality has now been consigned to the melting pot...