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Gorham "Baronial" Large Sterling Silver Page Turner aka Paper Cutter

Gorham "Baronial" Large Sterling Silver Page Turner aka Paper Cutter
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An exceptionally large, all silver, item, this piece measures 12 1/4" long and weighs 4.2 T. oz.

Made by Gorham, whose "lion, anchor, G" hallmark, along with "Sterling" and the model number "B698" are imprinted on one edge, and the name of the retailer, Boston's "Bigelow, Kennard & Co." on another edge, it is commonly identified as a page turner or letter opener, but catalogues of its circa 1900 period, label it a paper cutter.

The design is as impressive as the piece itself. It repeats on both side of the handle and features a lion's head, a cluster of fruit, and acanthus leaves, all evocative of English heraldry. Indeed, the presentation is reminiscent of Gorham's "Henry II" pattern dating from 1900, or an enlarged version of "Baronial," from the same period.

This appears to be cast, rather than die struck as most flatware was, possessing the sort of textured and stippled surface that derives from this technique. Other aspects of the work indicate additional significant hand finishing. All of which suggests that some of the skills and properties that conveyed with Gorham's fabled "Martele" line were carried over to this piece.

The solid silver blade is sword-like, consistent with the heraldic imagery, and has a central raised rib on either side, leading to a tapered, pointed tip.

The piece is in very fine condition and has a rich finish. The handle retains sharp design detail, and is free of dents, bends, or worn spots. The blade is straight and has a smooth finish. There is some very slight burring on the edges toward the hilt, and one side has a noticeable scratch near the tip. This has polished smooth to the touch, but is still visible.

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