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Ocean Liner Flatware


Vintage hotel ware silver-plated WMF knives and forks, made for Holland & America Line, the cruise liner company

Once used in the grand dining rooms on one of Holland & America's cruise ships, now decommissioned, these well-proportioned, well-balanced and beautifully designed knives and forks are a joy to use and once went toward the making of many a sumptuous repast on the ocean wave. Each is marked WMF and the tip of the fork handles bear the hallmark Holland & America circular crest, the Art Deco stylised prow of a large transatlantic steamship (see image). The knife handles are silver-plated and the blades are stainless steel. The forks are silver-plated. 

This is an opportunity to own a little slice of transatlantic ocean liner history, and we are selling this vintage flatware individually, in order for you to make up a set as big or as small as you fancy, or, you may just wish to buy one simple and elegant place setting. We are also offering a discount if you buy a set.  Please make your choice in the box below, once you have looked at the options.  


WMF, Metallwarenfabrik Straub & Schweizer, opened in 1853 as a metal repairing workshop, yet by 1900 they were the world's largest producer and exporter of household metalware, mainly in the Jugendstil, the Art Nouveau style; designed in the WMF Art Studio under sculptor and designer Albert Mayer, who was director until 1914.

Despite the economic turmoil of the two world wars that followed, WMF stayed on the leading edge of product design and quality household goods made from metal. Since the demand for decorative items declined due to widespread economic hardship, the company focused on cutlery, serving dishes and kitchenware such as metal graters, colanders, pots, casseroles, and frying pans.

WMF expand its cutlery business throughout the 1920s, including the making of solid silver cutlery. By 1928, cutlery sales accounted for roughly two-thirds of WMF's total revenues, and flatware continued to be one of its mainstay lines until the end of the 1960s, to which our WMF ocean liner cutlery stands testament.

Country of origin: Europe

Date of manufacture: c.1960

Material: EPNS (electro-plated nickel silver) & stainless steel

Large knife: 23cm £9 / Set of 6 £49

Medium knife: 21.5cm £7.50 / Set of 6 £40

Large fork: 20cm £9 / Set of 6 £49

Medium fork: 18.5cm £7.50 / Set of 6 £40

Condition: good, considering their 60 years of service, with a good share of scuffs and light scratch marks, all of which add to their character and reflect their seafaring history. Not all the knife handles bear the Holland & America logo.

Note: medium knives are serrated, so they can also be used for steak and fruit. 

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