ANTIQUE SILVER FRUIT SETS
Antique Silver fruit sets Description:
A set of knives and forks designed for eating fruit, often for six people or more and fitted into canteen boxes.
Antique Silver fruit sets History:
The earliest fruit sets are from the latter part of the 18th century, and were often made with stained ivory handles. However these sets in original condition are very rare now. Most Antique sets are Victorian or Edwardian often with mother of pearl handles, or ivory handles. Many sets were made in the 1920s and 30s when they really came back into vogue. They are still being made today.
Antique Silver fruit sets Design:
The Georgian sets were characterised by plain designs on the blades and tines, often with green or maroon stained ivory handles. Later Victorian examples were often engraved with floral decoration, with either hand-carved ivory, bone, or mother of pearl handles. Later 20th century versions had plain blades, tines and handles. The blades often had serrated ends or scimitar shapes. Many sets were sold in velvet and satin-lined presentation boxes.
Antique Silver fruit sets Collectors Note:
Original Georgian sets are now very rare as the ivory handles and ferrules have not stood the test of time very well. The later Victorian sets, made with presentation boxes, and therefore protected, are often in better condition. But again they are becoming rarer because of the fragile nature of the handles. All silver versions, those with silver handles and blades/tines, do command good prices because fewer sets were made. Twentieth century Art Deco examples are quite sort after and often are more expensive than a good Victorian set. Always check to make sure that the handles are not cracked or broken. Inspect the junction between blades/tines and handles to check for gaps, and check ferrules for any damage. Also, make sure that the hallmark is consistant across all the pieces in the set.