Set of forks and knives made at the Landers Frary and Clark Aetna works in New Britain Ct. At one point LF&C was one of the largest knife making outfits in the USA and was a huge kitchen equipment maker as well. These forks and knives typify the meeting of mass production and skilled hand work, while not their top shelf line here the grinding is excellent.
Knives 9 1/2” with 5” blade, forks 8”
This set is likely from the later half of the 19th century (long before stainless steel replaced carbon steel for table ware use) while gutta percha was still affordable for use in knife handles, the fork design with the flat area before the tines suggest later 19th c design possibly.
Condition is excellent, knives show very little sharpening, there is some light pitting but no damage, forks show little wear and there are no bent tips. Handles are are secure with no gaps.
Gutta percha a crystallized latex made from the latex of the Palaqiuim gutta tree native to the Malay archipelago had been used for centuries for knife handles among other uses was ‘discovered’ by Europeans in the early 19th century and became very popular as a moldable durable material. It revolutionized communications in being the first material to successfully insulate underwater telegraph cables in the 1850’s. It’s properties as a electrical insulating material led to over harvesting.