What are some odd utensils for the kitchen that you might run across?

It does not take long in the world of antiques and collectibles for you to run across a weird utensil for the kitchen.  Here are some of the oddities that you might run across:

Cake Breaker—this is a multi-pronged metal serving piece that looks like a large comb.  It was primarily marketed as a way to slice a delicate cake without putting any undue pressure on it.  Items like Angel Food Cake are one of the items that you would use this on.

Oyster Server—this has an edge that looks like a circular saw edge.  Items like fried oysters were extremely popular at the turn of the 20th century, and this popularity demanded that this type of food get its own server. The Oyster Server’s jagged flared edge helps to gather small, lightweight food.

Lemon Forks—these tiny forks were usually used for lemons that were served with seafood or tea. The tines are sharp and splayed outwards to grip the tough lemon rind.

Victorian Folding Fruit Knife—in the Victorian era, fruit was considered a luxury because shipping it was very hard if not impossible in some cases. Men carried these fruit pocket knives to display their economic stature.  These have a small blade that is the perfect length to cut fruit.

This is only a few of the odd utensils that you will run across for the kitchen.  What have you run across?

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A portrait plate made by two different companies? How’s that possible?

At a recent sale, I ran across a great portrait plate from the late 1800’s to the early 1900’s.  It has a great motif on the front—a gorgeous lady with a gold trim near the edge that has harps and a floral motif.

Royal Vienna ZEH SCHERZER ZS And Co Porcelain Portrait Plate Artist Signed Gracioga

But when I picked it up and looked at the back, it had two different company marks on it.  The first reads ROYAL VIENNA and the other is Z. S. & Co Bavaria.

Royal Vienna ZEH SCHERZER ZS And Co Porcelain Portrait Plate Artist Signed Gracioga plate

This is pretty interesting—the two marks actually have a purpose.  The ROYAL VIENNA mark is for the hand painted decorations on the front of the plate.  The second mark stands for ZEH SCHERZER & Co., and they produced the ceramic plate.

The ceramic plate was produced and then sold to ROYAL VIENNA undecorated.  When ROYAL VIENNA received the plate, they then painted it with this terrific motif.

Sometimes the artist even signs the piece.  It could be anywhere really—I have seen the signature on both the front and the back of the piece.  This plate was signed on the back, and it was signed Gracioga.

You can see this terrific portrait plate in my Etsy shop here.  Have you ever run across anything like this?

Ever see a Victorian Red Tomato Server?

At a local flea market, I ran across a box of spoons not too long ago.  When I started looking through them, I found quite a few utensils that really got my interest.  The Victorian Era was pretty interesting when it came to the serving pieces that were made, and one of those serving pieces was in that box I bought.

That piece is a red tomato server and is marked WM ROGERS MFG ORIGINAL ROGERS.  The server has the LA FRANCE pattern and dates to the early 1900’s.

tomato server

Here’s the kicker—there are two different types of tomato servers.  There’s one for red tomatoes and for green.

There’s a big difference to the server, and it’s that the spade on the green tomato server is not perforated. The red tomatoes can be juicy, so the perforations lets the juice drip through.  Green tomatoes are not nearly as messy so you don’t have to worry as much about spilling tomato juice on the table cloth.

spade

A modern twist on this type of server is that you could use the green tomato server to serve fried green tomatoes.  You can see the red tomato server in my Etsy store here.

What kinds of Victorian serving pieces have you run across?