Sharpener from Three-piece Carving Set
On View: Luce Visible Storage and Study Center, 5th Floor
Made in the 1880s, these two carving sets allude to exotic cultures and historical periods that appealed to consumers of the time. The Gorham set shows Asian influence, while the Rogers Brothers set is influenced by the sixteenth-century European Renaissance. They were made, however, for different consumers, as reflected in the materials, the amount of handwork, and the cost.
Gorham Manufacturing created its set in a limited edition intended for the elite, using costly silver and decorating the handles with enamel inlay, a time-consuming process involving great skill. The Rogers Brothers set was manufactured in larger numbers for the middle class. It is made of less expensive silver plate (a base metal electroplated with a thin layer of silver) and molded and finished entirely by machine.
13 in. (33.0 cm)
H. Randolph Lever Fund
A silver-plate steel, or knife sharpener, with a six-sided pointed; blade, each side concave, that terminates in a point. (Part of carving set: 88.159.1-.3). The hollow handle is decorated in high molded relief that is the same front and back. There is a central panel of scrolling leaves and flowers topped by a full-faced grotesque make with shoulder-length curling hair and a feathered headdress, all against continuous molded spiral decoration. At the end of the handle is a continuous horizontal band of flowers and scrolls capped by a flower with projecting hemispherical center at the end of the handle. Norman Pattern.
Condition: Very good. The plate is bright. Normal wear; slight overall scratching.
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