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tline3open  Shiebler's Floral Flatware, Part 1: Flora - post 4 of 7

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Author Topic:   Shiebler's Floral Flatware, Part 1: Flora - post 4 of 7
Scott Martin
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Posts: 11377
Registered: Apr 93

iconnumber posted 03-21-2008 03:43 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Scott Martin     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
This is an article that first appeared in Silver Magazine January/February 2008 pages 32-43. This article has been excerpted and reproduce with permission.

As can be seen from the tables, several piece types (orange spoon, ramekin fork, ice cream spoon and fork, sugar spoon, etc.) share the teaspoon handle and could theoretically have any of the motifs 1 through 12, but whether this actually occurs is unknown. A few other items may be found with more than one motif or variation, but in so far as we have observed, most pieces are limited to a single motif or variation thereof (see Table 2).

We have not been able to locate any surviving catalogues, labeled period photographs or other documentation that identify piece types in any of the Shiebler flatware patterns. Therefore, in making such identification in Flora, we relied on our general knowledge of traditional forms, or when faced with non-traditional forms, made educated guesses. As in Etruscan, some forms are quite distinctive and appear to be unique to this pattern.

Figure 6 (see below) shows various place knives in Flora. Measuring 10 3/16 inches in length, the large table knife on the far left, in the continental tradition, has a wide, older style Old French plated blade. Surviving table knives in this pattern are rare, with this variety being probably the rarest. The illustrated knife is from a set recently sold by Antique Cupboard, Inc., of Waukesha, WI, consisting of twelve each of table knives, table forks, teaspoons, demitasse spoons, and four tablespoons. (22) To our knowledge, such a set has not come on the market in the last twenty-five years, and its uniqueness was the initial stimulus for writing this article.

The table knife with a slightly shorter straight plated blade (second from left in Figure 6 (see below)), length 10 1/4 inches, is also rare. With a length of 9 3/4 inches, the table knife with a still shorter straight plated blade (third from left in Figure 6 (see below)), is the more common of the three. Taking a cue from the nomenclature used by Gorham Mfg. Company, we have chosen to call this variety a medium knife.

One may legitimately ask whether the all-silver flat-handled knives (fourth and fifth from the left in Figure 6 (see below)) are master butter knives or individual fish knives. The fourth has a blade shape that, in our opinion, is more compatible with an individual fish knife. With an unconventionally shaped blade, the next knife is not typical for either a butter knife or a fish knife, but we favor the latter. There is a Shiebler precedent for having two forms of individual fish knives in the same pattern; it occurs in Etruscan. (23) Flora features another knife that has a more conventional blade form for a master butter knife. (24)

Figure 7 (see below) illustrates an array of place forks, most of which have standard forms. We might have called the ramekin fork (second from left) an ice cream fork were it not for the more standard form of an ice cream fork illustrated to its immediate right.


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Sgt Silver

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iconnumber posted 04-27-2008 03:44 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Sgt Silver     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Here's a youth fork, 6" long, in Buttercup. But it is not stamped with a 2.

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