Chers Amis, Bonjour! This summer I seemed to be attracting table knives like never before and this was a good thing!
This all started with the acquisition of an extraordinary set of 24 dinner and 12 fruit and cheese knives in their original presentation coffre. The knives are an unusual find on several counts, the large size of the set in its coffre only being a starting point. The former ownership is known and attested to by a tag on the coffre probably from the mid 20th century giving the name of the Arrivabine family. This family was “Second only to the Medicis in Italy” says a knowledgeable Italian friend of mine! The handles, engraved with an “A” with the Count’s nine point crown above further corroborates this elevated ownership. The Italian made handles are not the normal silver plate but are of full silver while the oversized steel blades are marked “Wm Jackson & Sons Sheffield”. Evidently at the time, fine Sheffield made steel blades would have been imported from England for use in a commission of knives of this level of quality. See below two of Count Arrivabine’s family houses these knives could have been used in.
Following finding this splendid set, I acquired another set of 11 knives with full silver handles as apposed to silver plated handles! Full silver handles are a very rare occurrence seldom seen in the market place. Following these two sets I managed to acquire a few more sets of both dinner and fruit and cheese knives with silver plated handles in several different patterns as well as the ever popular fiddle thread and uniplat patterns.
With the holiday season approaching it is a good time to have at the ready the proper cutlery for all those special holiday meals. The following photos gives you an idea of some of the ample stock available here at Au Vieux Paris Antiques, so please plan a visit to see these knives as well as the extensive selection of fine antiques available.
Robert E. Smith
Robert E. Smith (337) 332-2852