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vathek

Posts: 962
Registered: Jun 99

iconnumber posted 11-20-2003 11:08 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for vathek     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
[01-1314]

This 7.5" long Gorham silverplate and bone/ivory implement dates from about 1880. It has leaves incised on the handle. I think it's for cracking crab or lobster, but I'm not sure, and the leaf decoration doesn't really fit with seafood.

Any ideas?


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Patrick Vyvyan

Posts: 640
Registered: May 2003

iconnumber posted 11-20-2003 11:55 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Patrick Vyvyan     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Could this be a toffee hammer? Although I must admit I've never seen one this elegant before!

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vathek

Posts: 962
Registered: Jun 99

iconnumber posted 11-20-2003 01:36 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for vathek     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Although the photo doesn't show it, the hammer part has a pattern of small pyramid shaped things like a meat tenderizer.

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Dale

Posts: 2132
Registered: Nov 2002

iconnumber posted 11-20-2003 02:25 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Dale     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
My guess is that this is an ice hammer, used to chip ice off of large blocks. A very elegent one at that.

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FredZ

Posts: 1069
Registered: Jun 99

iconnumber posted 11-20-2003 02:38 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for FredZ     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I believe it was used by an unknown ice sculptor! What more delightful tool could you want to help you chip away the pieced that hide the carving whithin..... I think it is wonderful!

Fred

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Paul Lemieux

Posts: 1768
Registered: Apr 2000

iconnumber posted 11-20-2003 03:03 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Paul Lemieux     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
It does look like an ice tool.

What a great find, vathek.

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vathek

Posts: 962
Registered: Jun 99

iconnumber posted 11-20-2003 04:14 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for vathek     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
But ice for what? Given the date would most households have ice for drinks? And wouldn't the bone handle be to weak for really wacking ice?

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Paul Lemieux

Posts: 1768
Registered: Apr 2000

iconnumber posted 11-20-2003 06:54 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Paul Lemieux     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Indeed, most households probably would not have had ice. Hence the appearance of fancy and no doubt expensive utensils such as this, ice spoons, etc. (I'm thinking, for example, of the wonderful Polar motif ice bowls and spoons Gorham produced in the early 1870s).

I have had similarly constructed Gorham items (no hammers--just spoons) in the past, and they have appeared to be of sturdy construction. I am assuming the handle is held safely onto the business end by pins or rivets. It seems to me that the handle is probably ivory, which is quite strong and capable of withstanding some amount of pressure.

I am wondering if this item is identified in any of the Gorham catalogs on the CD set. When I get a chance I will try to figure that out.

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Scott Martin
Forum Master

Posts: 11377
Registered: Apr 93

iconnumber posted 11-20-2003 09:36 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Scott Martin     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
From an 1894 Gorham Catalogue:

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Patrick Vyvyan

Posts: 640
Registered: May 2003

iconnumber posted 11-20-2003 11:16 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Patrick Vyvyan     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
With a point like that you could probably knock out Polar bears as well, I love it!!!

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Paul Lemieux

Posts: 1768
Registered: Apr 2000

iconnumber posted 11-21-2003 12:08 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Paul Lemieux     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Thanks for the catalog image, Scott!

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vathek

Posts: 962
Registered: Jun 99

iconnumber posted 11-21-2003 08:15 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for vathek     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The photo from Scott clinches it and I learn something every day. Still wonder about it's specific function tho. It's not that big and because of the ivory handle apparently wasn't intended as a kitchen implement, but perhaps to be used at a sideboard or on the table? Ah, the dining habits of the Victorians. Thanks for the photo Scott.

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