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Set 6 Ocean Liner Oyster Forks


Set of six vintage hotel ware silver-plated WMF oyster forks, made for Holland & America Line, the cruise liner company

From the days of champagne oyster bars kitted out with crisp linen and their fine accoutrements for shellfish degustation, we offer these elegant oyster forks once used in the dining rooms on one of Holland & America's cruise ships, now decommissioned. A set of six makes the perfect present for the friend who adores oysters and the delicious rituals around their eating. Each fork is marked WMF and the tip of the handle bears the hallmark Holland & America circular crest, the Art Deco stylised prow of a large transatlantic steamship (see image).


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)

Length 14cm

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, seafood-loving oceanic history.

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