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Sterling Silver Spreading Knife

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Posted 6 years ago

(773 items)

Does anyone know what kind of knife this is? I picked it up for a few dollars. I am very interested in the history or function of such a knife.

It is 5 inces and only 10 grams. Nice designs though, looks like apples in the design, could it be a knife used to core or skin apples? Wild guess. Thanks!

Mystery Solved


  1. miKKoChristmas11 miKKoChristmas11, 6 years ago
    AR8Jason, my take was that this was probably a grooming tool. What do you think about that hypothesis?

    Also, did anyone notice - it looks like there might have been a repair to the join of blade and handle.
  2. BHock45 BHock45, 6 years ago
    That's why you all are the experts! So you do not think that blade is original?
  3. BHock45 BHock45, 6 years ago
    thank you sir! Have a nice day.
  4. miKKoChristmas11 miKKoChristmas11, 6 years ago
    I think that the handle was more likely on a vanity, sewing, or desk tool. And I think that the blade might be original to the handle, but I cannot see very well. Computer doesn't have great graphics. I personally have never seen a spreading blade like this. I can't see that it would be particularly useful. Do you have an image of this blade with an ID of its being a spreading knife, AR8Jason? Follows two of the grooming tools I have found. Unfortunately, I cannot spend any more time looking for this particular blade. : )


  5. vetraio50 vetraio50, 6 years ago
    Is the "S" mark that of E.H.H. SMITH SILVER CO - Bridgeport, CT?

    Listed in Bridgeport Directory in 1907.
    Reorganized as Blackstone Silver Co. in 1914.
    Acquired by Barnstein in 1943.


  6. miKKoChristmas11 miKKoChristmas11, 6 years ago
    Morning, all! Thank you AR8Jason for your input, which is always valued. I recognize your expertise with knife blades, sir, which is why I inquired. I thought you'd whip this exact blade right out of your mental database and readily trot out photos to boot.

    I now have a better image of this, and can now see well enough to affirm that not only has there been an alteration of the join, but that either the item is missing a piece, or the blade is not original to the handle. If I remove the blade and consider it on the usual 'spreader blade' stem that one encounters on the type of spreader often placed next to a dish of soft cheese spread on an hors d'oeuvres table, yes, I can accept your hypothesis. This blade does look quite strange on this staff/stem. I can't now accept this show and tell item as originally being a spreader, but am willing to concede now that the blade might well have originally been designed for a spreader designed for table use.

    With my enlarged image, I can now see a hallmark, and following on Vetraio's excellent hypothesis, consulted Dorothy Rainwater’s “Encyclopedia of American Silver Manufacturers” 5th edition. Rainwater discusses this firm on pp. 231-32. She offers two marks for this firm. The "S" between these two triangles is one mark. Beneath that mark Rainwater has written " (Flatware). ". I see from Rainwater that the firm produced high grade plate, but no evidence of sterling wares. Let's examine a statement that Rainwater quotes. She does not name her source here, but there's no mistaking that she is quoting someone else - perhaps the company's entry in the city directory? or other similar client-written description, perhaps in a JC? I don't know. Rainwater writes that they were manufacturers of "artistic cutlery and sterling effects in quintuple plated spoons and forks". Her history is a little more involved than the one given at silvercollection.it. I will augment Vetraio’s excellent chain of ownership with Rainwater’s.

    - E.H.H. Smith Silver Company of Bridgeport, CT was first listed in the Bridgeport City Directory in 1907.

    - Listed in the JC in 1904.

    - U.S. Patent No. 44,191 was issued in their name on Feb. 14, 1905.

    - Last listed in the 1919 City Directory.

    - Succeeded by the “Albert Pick Company” in 1920 (p.232). On p. 231, Rainwater refers to the firm as the “Albert Pick & Co., Inc.”. Rainwater (published in 2005) reported in her ‘Pick’ entry on p. 184 that the firm last appeared in the Bridgeport City Directory in 1927, and reported that they were “Said to be still in business.” Further, again p. 184, she stated that ‘Pick’ “produced plated silver flatware and hollowware”. Now back to her E.H.H. Smith entry on p. 232….

    - Reorganized as Blackstone Silver Co. in 1914. (Yes, 1914.)

    - Sold to Bernstein “(of National Silver Co.?)" in 1943.

    Rainwater’s entry for Blackstone Silver Co. (p.32) reports that the "Bridgeport (Stratford)", CT firm was begun by E.H.H. Smith (formerly of Meriden, CT) “when he did business alone or under the name of E.H.H. Smith Silver Co.” She states that “The firm went into receivership on April 12, 1914, and was reorganized as Blackstone Silver Co.” Further, “It was packed by some extent by Albert Pick & Co., Chicago, for whom it had been making hotel ware.” Blackstone Silver Co. was sold in 1943 to “Bernstein (of National Silver Co.?)”. Rainwater makes no statements here on the nature of the silver produced by Blackstone, i.e., whether the firm produced silver plate and/or sterling.

    On Rainwater p.30, I find two Bernsteins – Bernard Bernstein of Bronx, NY, and Samuel E. Bernstein of NY, NY (Manhattan, NY). The former made sterling goods (not mentioned whether he also made plated goods), but it was the latter who was affiliated with National Silver Company. Samuel Bernstein’s firm was founded in 1890, and was succeeded by National Silver Company in 1904. Rainwater makes no statement on the nature of the wares that Samuel Bernstein produced – plate vs. sterling.

    Rainwater discusses National Silver Company of New York, NY on p. 168. She reports that they were “manufacturers of sterling and plated silverware”. Then she states that they “began with” Samuel E. Bernstein of New York, NY, who was: “first in business in NY” in 1890. “Became National Silver Company before 1904.”

    I then consulted the superb Sterling Flatware Fashions’ website and found an actual photo of marks associated with “E.H.H. Smith Silver Co. New York, NY 1904-1914”, and this photo not only features the “S” and two triangles, but also includes the mark “STERLING”. (See first link below.) SFF describes the firm as “Makers of sterling novelty items and silverplate flatware.” SFF reports that the firm was “Succeeded by” Blackstone Silver Co.


    I checked SFF for a Blackstone Silver Co. hallmark. One is offered under ‘Silverplate Marks’ but not under ‘Silvermiths’. It is different from the one that appears on BHock45’s item.


    I am going to leave this research here. I suggest that BHock45 might wish to research whether E.H.H. Smith’s novelty sterling items included desk set tools or vanity or manicure items.
  7. BHock45 BHock45, 6 years ago
    Wow...A lot of action since Ive been away. Thanks everyone for the likes and loves and the help!

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