Gorham 1874 Sterling Silver & Steel Carving Knife
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Measuring 12 1/4" long, this carving knife made by Gorham is unusual on several counts.
First, it is early for this sort of thing. It is stamped with a date letter for 1874. Other marks include the company "lion, anchor, G" emblem, "Sterling," and the number "5."
Second, the handle is not a standard pattern. It is a plain, rounded end shape with a satin matte surface. Gorham produced a number of hollow handle serving pieces with similar handles, which were generally bright cut and banded as well, and this may derive from that design impulse.
Third, the handle portion is nearly as long as the rather narrow blade portion, which suggests this was designed for a specialized purpose.
The blade is carbon steel and stamped with the maker's name, "Joseph Rodgers & Sons, Cutlers to Her Majesty." There are additional symbols including a crown flanked by "V" and "R." Even though a continent away, Gorham went to the one of finest sources available in the time for its blade.
The condition is outstanding. The handle is free of any flaws, including nicks, dents, or splits. The attachment with the blade remains secure. The blade retains a sharp, even, cutting edge, and is without grinding from polishing. The surface does show some black blotchiness, which this material is prone to.