Sterling Silver and Ivory Paper-Knife, circa 1886

(Great Britain, 19th Century)

Sterling Silver and Ivory Paper-Knife, circa 1886
2554 Lincoln Blvd # 696
Venice, CA, 90291
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Sterling Silver and Ivory Paper-Knife, circa 1886


This is an impressive antique ivory paper-knife—truly, this piece is the ultimate 'man-tique’!

Paper-knives rose to the height of their popularity in Victorian era England. Though commonly mistaken for a letter opener due to its shape, the paper-knife is unique in that it does not possess a sharp, pointed blade. Paper-knives were designed with a thin, wide blade with dull edges so that they could easily and gently, tear apart the creased pages of an uncut book. Uncut pages were incredibly common during the Victorian Era. During that time books were bound by hand and would be left uncut and remain unopened unless the reader possessed a paper-knife. The paper-knife now symbolize a time gone by.

This handsome ivory and sterling silver paper-knife is well marked. It contains the maker’s mark for Frederick Bradford McCrea, the city mark for London, as well as the date-letter for 1886.

This piece’s maker has an interesting and illuminating history. Frederick Bradford McCrea was a major in the British army and helped found the Army and Navy Cooperative Society, Ltd.. Army and Navy Stores was a department store group in the United Kingdom. The department store featured exotic items, furnishing and household goods. This item was most likely purchased at their London store.

From base to tip this piece is approximately 14 inches long and approximately 1 1/2 inches wide. The handle has an approximate circumference of 3 1/2 inches.

This piece is in very good condition despite its age. The blade is in near perfect condition as is the handle. There is a charming silver fleur-de-lis towards the base of the blade that sets off the other silver accents. This incredible ‘man-tique’ with its rich history would make an unforgettable gift. It would look great as a paper weight or desk accessory. This is your chance to own a piece of history!


Origin Great Britain
Period 19th Century
Style Unspecified

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THB REF: 1237723354