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Butter Knife

Decorative Arts

MEDIUM Silver-plate
DATES ca. 1885
DIMENSIONS 7 x 13/16 x 1 in. (17.8 x 2.1 x 2.5 cm)
MARKINGS stamped "SHEFFIELD PLT CO" on reverse of handle
SIGNATURE Unsigned
INSCRIPTIONS no inscriptions
COLLECTIONS Decorative Arts
MUSEUM LOCATION This item is not on view
ACCESSION NUMBER 1990.146.2
CREDIT LINE Gift of Helen Hersh and Charles Sporn
CATALOGUE DESCRIPTION Twist butter knife. Silver-plated base metal. Flat blade set perpendicular to handle. Sharpened edge of blade curves out and in towards the point. Opposite edge is scalloped at the point and incurved, with small rounded projection near handle. First third of blade undecorated, remaining two-thirds impressed on both sides with matching design that conforms to the blade, within rope twist border. Design begins near the blade tip with diagonal band of pointed arches enclosing stylized foliate sprigs, topped by alternating dot-filled semi-circles and stylized foliate sprigs. A curving horizontal rectangular reserve, flanked by foliate garlands, with semi-circular cutouts on three sides, and a band containing three stars on the fourth, encloses stylized fronds. Near handle join, second diagonal band of geometric motifs and rounded matted area terminates design. The tapering handle impresses directly above join with down-turned striated, scalloped semi-circle surmounted by vertical beading and two pointed arches. Vertical reeding above arches topped by horizontal band quartered by an X. Diagonal band of pointed arches enclosing stylized foliate sprigs, topped by alternate dot-filled semi-circles and stylized foliate sprigs and flanked by a stylized sun below and a vacant area above, divides the handle at mid-point. A horizontal row of pointed arches, enclosing beaded pendants, topped by a geometric band, supports a central rectangle flanked on either side by a stylized flowerpot below the canted-cornered straight-edged crest. CONDITION - Fair condition. Plate loss to proper left side of blade and to high points of impressed handle design.
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