Antique Silver and Japanese Kozuka Cutlery

Date: 1898 -1900

Maker: Allen & Darwin

Country: England

Stock Number: 8766

A rare and stunning set of antique dessert cutlery made from antique Japanese kosuka handles with English sterling silver blades. 36 pieces, 18 knives and 18 forks, all fitted in a solid wood box with velvet lining. The shibuichi* metal handles are very beautiful; with bronze, copper, silver and gold patination and having raised, inlaid decorative motifs such as figures, fish, dragons etc; some are very interesting such as the man ploughing a field with a horse, fishermen at sea in a boat. Knives - length 21 cms, Sheffield 1900, maker Allen & Darwin. Forks - length 18 cms (1 fork is 17 cms), Sheffield 1898, maker George Edward & Sons. The handles are earlier, most likely circa 1880.

Literature: The kozuka is the decorative handle for the kogatana, which is a small utility knife which fits into a pocket on the scabbard of a Japanese sword.

*The Japanese shibuichi metalwork is very fine. This alloy consists of approximately 25% silver mixed with copper which can be patinated to a range of colours from silver, through grey, to a variety of browns (information courtesy of the V & A http://collections.vam.ac.uk/item/O192817/kozuka/)

Signed/Inscribed: Three knives and one fork have a Japanese signature on the reverse side.

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