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Ocean Liner Butter Knives


Vintage hotel ware silver-plated WMF butter knives, 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 and beautifully designed butter knives have a wonderful weight, and 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 end of the handles bear the hallmark Holland & America circular crest, the Art Deco stylised prow of a large transatlantic steamship (see image). The handles are silver-plated and the blades are stainless steel.

This is an opportunity to own a little slice of transatlantic ocean liner history, and we are selling this vintage flatware as sets of 6 or 12 and individually, as you may just wish to buy one simple and elegant butter knife. We are also offering a discount if you buy a set.  Please make your choice in the box below, once you have studied 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.1930 - 1960

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

Length: 17cm

Single knife £7.50

Set of 6 £40

Set of 12 £75

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.

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