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Vintage Sheffield - Walker & Hall - Carving Set

Discussion in 'The Kitchen Knife' started by roaduck, Nov 15, 2023.

  1. [​IMG]

    I came across a vintage English carving set for a song the other week with a view of giving it away for Christmas.
    The set was in remarkable condition with a lovely blue custom fitted cardboard box and I am assured it is from the fifties.
    It comprises of a 9" inch carving knife and fork which has an integral lever to hold the slices in "Non Stain" stamped on the knife blade; it doesn`t say stainless steel.Also included is a lovely little steel for the knife with a beautiful dark patina.
    These are the sort of serving sets that were taken out of their box and honed in front of a family perhaps on Sunday or for holidays and special occasions.
    Walker and Hall (established in 1845 - closed in 1971) were one of hundreds of cutlers in Sheffield, North West England and they did stainless, carbon, EPNS (electro plated nickel silver) and solid silver cutlery for the well to do.
    Here is a little history of the firm to quote:


    "Walker & Hall

    Walker & Hall were Sheffield based silversmiths making their fortune with electroplating, cutlery and silver from the mid-19th century until they closed in 1971.The company started with a Britannia metalworker - John Harrison - who took the first licence in Sheffield from Elkingtons to make electroplated wares. He sent George Walker to Birmingham to learn the new process. On his return to Sheffield, George decided to set up his own business and entered into partnership with Samuel Coulson in 1845. They obtained their own electroplating licence but did not start manufacture immediately. When they did, they were joined by Henry Hall and they started trading as Walker & Hall in 1853.When Sir John Bingham joined them in 1852 they had fewer than 20 employees, but by 1894 they had grown to 1500 workers. Sir John Bingham was a master publicist and they appear to be the originators of the false story that George Walker had been an assistant of Dr. John Wright, the surgeon who had invented the electroplating process and so could claim to be a co-inventor. The story has made it into many texts as fact.They were very successful and went on to open showrooms in London, Liverpool, Manchester, Leeds, Glasgow, Edinburgh, Newcastle, Cardiff, Belfast, Hull, Bristol as well as in Australia (Melbourne and Adelaide) and in South Africa (Cape Town).They became a limited company in 1920 under the name Walker & Hall Ltd, and their "Electro Works" building dominated the Sheffield skyline until it was bombed in the Sheffield blitz in 1940. They managed to rebuild and continued production until 1963. In that year, they combined with Mappin & Webb and Elkington & Co to form British Silverware Ltd.They shut down as a manufacturer in 1973, although the brand was later revived as a retailer."

    So I think the carving set is a lovely find and a bargain to boot for £21.
    I am sure I will find a delighted recipient for a still useful old Christmas present.
    Amazingly the knife still has an edge sharp enough to carve meat or fish after nearly seventy years.
  2. Wagner the Wehrwolf

    Wagner the Wehrwolf Founding Member

    Not heard of this maker before. Thanks for the introduction.

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