Silver Fruit Knives A Golden Age

This forum is dedicated to the discussion and display of old knives. The rich history of all the many companies that made them through the early years will be found here as well as many fine examples of the cutlers art. Share pictures of your old knives and your knowledge here!
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Miller Bro's
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Silver Fruit Knives A Golden Age

Post by Miller Bro's » Sat Aug 07, 2010 2:11 am

Silver fruit knives have been around for a long time. The first folding ones were made in the mid to late 1700`s. They seem to have gone out of fashion around the 1930`s. They had a good run. I like collecting these for many reasons, they are beautiful to look at and come in a wide variety of designs. Some are sterling, coin and plated silver. All are very interesting and the thing I like best is they do not rust like carbon blades!

Here are a couple to get this thread started, the first one is coin silver, and the second one is sterling with the initials "RP", don`t know who made this one.

If you have any post them here I would like to see `em ::nod:: ::tu::
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Re: Silver Fruit Knives A Golden Age

Post by RobesonsRme.com » Sat Aug 07, 2010 3:35 am

Pretty knives, MB.
Surely, you have one of those Miller Brothers Berge type two blade folding fruit knives.
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Re: Silver Fruit Knives A Golden Age

Post by Miller Bro's » Sat Aug 07, 2010 2:15 pm

Charlie,

I don`t think Miller made a Berge type knife ::hmm::

I do have the ones Empire made though, I have it posted in the Empire thread. I will get a picture of it here too.

Please note on the last knife pictured above, an interesting observation is it appears to have little screws holding the handles on. In reality these are not really screws, just made to look like them :)
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Re: Silver Fruit Knives A Golden Age

Post by knifegirl888 » Sat Aug 07, 2010 7:47 pm

Here are the few I have. None have seed picks though. I would like to get one. Those are great!

Image

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Re: Silver Fruit Knives A Golden Age

Post by Miller Bro's » Sat Aug 07, 2010 8:16 pm

KnifeGirl,

Very nice!

I like the one in the middle with the beautiful Pique worked handles ::drool:: ::tu::
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Re: Silver Fruit Knives A Golden Age

Post by Miller Bro's » Sat Aug 07, 2010 8:49 pm

Here are a few more................

The second one down is interesting, it has the seed pick on the opposite end, on it`s own spring.
Both spring backs are nicely Chased. Most Fruit Knives have the seed pick right next to the master blade.

:)
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Re: Silver Fruit Knives A Golden Age

Post by tjmurphy » Sat Aug 07, 2010 8:58 pm

Those fruit knives are outstanding. I've often wondered though, are the blades meant to hold a keen edge? I wouldn't think that sterling silver would be hard enough to retain an edge.
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Re: Silver Fruit Knives A Golden Age

Post by Miller Bro's » Sat Aug 07, 2010 9:07 pm

TJ,

I can honestly say I have never tried to sharpen a fruit knife!

I did not want to take off any silver ::doh::

The ones that are plated are brass underneath, I suppose those would hold some kind of edge.

Miller Bro`s made a brass and steel fruit knife that they patented in 1881. The blades were Carbon Steel and the handles were wrap around Brass, everything was then plated in Nickle. It had the appearance of a silver plated fruit knife with the cutting ability of Carbon steel blades. Very clever :wink:
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Re: Silver Fruit Knives A Golden Age

Post by RobesonsRme.com » Sat Aug 07, 2010 9:57 pm

The Berge style knives I remember were most likely Empires. I stand corrected.

There is an Empire Berge knife up for auction right now.

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Re: Silver Fruit Knives A Golden Age

Post by knife7knut » Sat Aug 07, 2010 11:20 pm

Here's a few pictures of mine.I have a few more but can't locate the pics in my document file for some reason.I've always liked the pearl scaled ones;especially if they have pique work.If I recall correctly,that was only in vogue for a relatively short period of time(1840-1850 or so)which makes those fairly easy to date.
The most unusual one I own has ivory scales and the blades are either gold or a brass alloy(I haven't tested them).One blade looks like a standard kitchen knife and the other is for peeling fruit;specifically oranges.
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Re: Silver Fruit Knives A Golden Age

Post by Miller Bro's » Sat Aug 07, 2010 11:27 pm

Wow! The Mother Lode :shock:

I knew you had some :lol:

Now I just bet S-K has a few nice ones too ::hmm:: :lol:
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Re: Silver Fruit Knives A Golden Age

Post by FRJ » Sun Aug 08, 2010 12:51 am

knife7knut, your a tough act to follow. Those are beautiful knives. But I do have one, and only one, so I'll give it up here.
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Re: Silver Fruit Knives A Golden Age

Post by knife7knut » Sun Aug 08, 2010 2:09 am

FRJ wrote: But I do have one, and only one, so I'll give it up here.
FRJ:
No matter if you have one or a million;I love to look at them all.That one looks like it was well used and appreciated;bet it could tell some stories!

Thought I'd post some individual pictures to show a little more detail.Some are like new and others the details are almost completely worn away.Don't know which I like the most.

First one up is near mint and(I believe)has Birmingham hallmarks.

Second has some beautiful carved pearl scales but the blade tang is worn a bit allowing it to protrude slightly when closed.

Third is marked,"coin" and is likely American made.

Fourth has no marks whatsoever except for the initials.This was the 1st sterling knife I ever bought.

Fifth is one of the unusual with blades at either end.Not really common.

Sixth is really unusual in that it came in the leather case with an equally ornate silver comb.First one of these I've ever seen.No maker's mark as are a lot of mine.

Seventh is an unusual pearl scaled knife with bolsters on both ends and an odd nail mark.Looks to be of French origin.Hall marks are unknown.

Eighth is an oddly shaped one with no marks but the anchor motif on the scales might indicate Birmingham manufacture

Ninth and tenth are opposite sides of an unmarked knife with some really nice engraving.

I'll post some more later as I've had a long day painting and have another job to get ready for tomorrow(lettering a school bus for the local AMVETS).Hope you all enjoy these as much as I do.
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Re: Silver Fruit Knives A Golden Age

Post by Owd Wullie » Tue Aug 10, 2010 12:54 am

I've been looking for nice one for my wife for awhile. Always seem to get shot out of the saddle on ebay. LOL

Those are some pretty knives!! ::tu::
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Re: Silver Fruit Knives A Golden Age

Post by knife7knut » Tue Aug 10, 2010 2:45 am

Here's some more close-ups of sterling knives:
First is one marked simply,"sterling"and very similar in shape to the last one in my previous post.Possibly the same maker.
Second is a pearl scales one with no bolsters and some very unusual imperfections in the scale nearest the pivot point.Looks almost like wrinkled enamel paint.
Third is the first pearl scaled fruit knife I ever bought;larger than most and some of the most fiery pearl I have seen.
Fourth is another pearl scaled knife with threaded bolsters that are actually silver plated brass.
Fifth is probably the best one I own;silver pique work in carved pearl scales with very intricate carving on the blade.Came in a little chamois pouch.
Sixth is one stamped,"sterling 682"(whatever that means)and has quite a bit of wear.
Seventh is an inexpensive stainless knife by Richards with steel shell scales and a nice little pouch.
Eighth is one of Birmingham manufacture(note the anchor in the hallmark).
Ninth and tenth is somewhat of a mystery to me.The hallmarks are arranged to read when the blade is held point up and consist of a left facing rooster,the initials T&W and an object I cannot decipher.I think it may be an early American made piece.The inscription is,"G.W. to M.E.W." in a very old style script.If I wanted to concoct a BS story I could always say that it was a gift from George Washington to his wife Martha but that would be a REAL stretch!
Anyway enjoy the pictures and I will try and post more tomorrow.I may have to take some time off as I had a diseased toenail removed tonight and the anesthetic is starting to wear off and it hurts big time!
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