The History and Use of Silver and Mother of Pearl Folding Fruit Knives
The History of the Folding Fruit Knife
By the late 18th century, the first folding fruit knives had been created as an exclusive item. At first, they were rather fancy knives that were fashionable items among wealthy French aristocrats. They insisted on more style and flare in these types of knives made for their families. In addition, they quickly became popular gifts as well. As a result, this type of knife soon became widespread around Europe and in England.Why folding fruit knives became popular among the elite and the aristocracy is actually obvious. They often had bad teeth finding eating fruit difficult, especially apples and pears which had to be bitten into. A folding fruit knife solved that problem as the fruit could easily be carved into small pieces.
French and English
Although the French developed the knife, it was in England where it really took off in terms of popularity. In places like London, Birmingham and especially Sheffield manufacturing plants were quickly developed. As a result, this particular folding fruit knife became quite popular. Why exactly the knife became such a big hit in England is hard to say. Howver, it can be used for a variety of purposes which makes it very versatile.
The knife itself is also known as a “slippie”. Slippies have single-edge blade so it can be supported by the fingers on the back or flat side. There are also folding fruit knives with a “seed pick” as well so that the seeds can be quickly removed. Overall, the folding action of the knife is designed to be quick and smooth so that it can be handled normally.
As the knife took off in England, it spread to all the British colonies and into America as well, become a popular type of knife for its versatility. In recent years, the sterling silver and mother of pearl folding fruit knives have become collectors’ items, particularly those that were crafted in France in the late 18th century and the early ones from England as well.
The Importance of Sterling Silver & Mother of Pearl Folding Fruit Knives
The creation of sterling silver and mother of pearl for fruit knives were important because both materials were resistant to the citric acid that would eat away at many other materials in the knife itself. The fact that they could hold up against the acid that came from fruit meant two things. First, the knife would be passed from generation to generation in a family and second, they would be still intact many years later where their value might be considerable as collectors’ items.
Interestingly enough, silver is not often used in knife blades because it is rather soft in nature. But sterling silver is very well suited for cutting into fruit and it can be used repeatedly in that function with little in the way of wear or dulling. As long as the knife is well maintained, it can last for a very long time.
Overall, the history and use of silver and mother of pearl folding fruit knives has entered the 21st century still holding its place as a popular and useful tool. Also, the older ones have become quite valuable as well, fetching good prices on the antique marketplace. For the collector, these types of knives can make for a good investment if the right research is completed.