Howell & James Co Regent Street knives

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woodwalker
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Howell & James Co Regent Street knives

Postby woodwalker » Wed Jan 23, 2019 12:35 am

Bought these today at my local antique store. Not something I normally collect but I found them interesting. Googled the company and they have an interesting history. Tag said mid 19th century bone knives. Thanks for looking. :)
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kootenay joe
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Re: Howell & James Co Regent Street knives

Postby kootenay joe » Wed Jan 23, 2019 1:16 pm

Nice old table knives with ivory handles. Too bad they have such deep cracks. Maybe they were put into a dishwasher ?
kj

woodwalker
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Re: Howell & James Co Regent Street knives

Postby woodwalker » Wed Jan 23, 2019 11:34 pm

kootenay joe wrote:Nice old table knives with ivory handles. Too bad they have such deep cracks. Maybe they were put into a dishwasher ?
kj

Thanks KJ. The company has a neat old history. I usually don't go for these type items, but the history of the company intrigued me. Appreciate your comments! :)

kootenay joe
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Re: Howell & James Co Regent Street knives

Postby kootenay joe » Thu Jan 24, 2019 12:43 am

I have a few old tableware sets of ivory handled knives. I bought them because i like ivory and because they are so cheap, often under $30 for a set of 6-8 knives. There are way more tableware knives & carving sets for sale than there are people who might want to buy them. Very low collector interest in these. Might it change in the next say 25 or so years ? Not possible to know.
kj

woodwalker
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Re: Howell & James Co Regent Street knives

Postby woodwalker » Thu Jan 24, 2019 1:51 am

kootenay joe wrote:I have a few old tableware sets of ivory handled knives. I bought them because i like ivory and because they are so cheap, often under $30 for a set of 6-8 knives. There are way more tableware knives & carving sets for sale than there are people who might want to buy them. Very low collector interest in these. Might it change in the next say 25 or so years ? Not possible to know.
kj

This is my first and you are correct it was cheap. Under 30 as you said. What craftsmanship and I like old things. To think something like these could have survived all these years is amazing to me. This company supplied merchandise to Queen Victoria. I'm glad to have them but I will stick with pocket knives as a main interest. Thank you for your nice comments and feedback. :)

stumpstalker
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Re: Howell & James Co Regent Street knives

Postby stumpstalker » Mon Jan 28, 2019 1:18 pm

kootenay joe wrote:I have a few old tableware sets of ivory handled knives. I bought them because i like ivory and because they are so cheap, often under $30 for a set of 6-8 knives. There are way more tableware knives & carving sets for sale than there are people who might want to buy them. Very low collector interest in these. Might it change in the next say 25 or so years ? Not possible to know.
kj


KJ: You make good points that collector interest may change. When I started collecting knives 18 years ago as a hobby (as opposed to personal use and gifting), I was able to readily augment my vintage chef's knife collection at our regional thrift and antique shops. Real cheap money back then.

On one occasion, I was charged an implausible $1 a knife -- for a set of five 1930s-era Sabattier's, 6,8,10,12 and 14-inch, with an accompanying cleaver. Fast forward: In the last few years I don't see any offered at any price in these same locations. None!

I know that this is all very anecdotal and one man's experience. But I suspect that some combination of internet sales opportunities, where such knives I now see offered sometimes for $75 to $125; a natural cyclical renewed appreciation of old, carbon steel useful kitchen knives and even the emergence of knife forums such as this one has significantly changed the market for these knives. And, yes, it may resurge for the carving sets and vintage table cutlery, but certainly hasn't yet.

kootenay joe
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Re: Howell & James Co Regent Street knives

Postby kootenay joe » Mon Jan 28, 2019 1:39 pm

I think the market for tableware and carving sets is still in the 'dumps'. Ebay sellers who ask high prices either have no idea of the knife market or are fishing for a sucker. The reason you might not be seeing these in pawn shops or second hand stores is that sellers no longer accept them because they do not sell and therefore become just more 'clutter'.
If you see knives of this type that you would like to buy but seller is asking a high price, send a 'market value' offer with an explanatory note. If seller refuses, move on. Other knife sets continually come along.
kj

stumpstalker
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Re: Howell & James Co Regent Street knives

Postby stumpstalker » Mon Jan 28, 2019 7:24 pm

KJ:

The distinction I wish to make, but did not make clear, is that the vintage Sheffield, American and even German carbon steel chef's knives have disappeared.

There are still plenty of cheap, 1960s-era oriental stainless steel chef's knives; high-quality 19th Century carving sets and tableware available in those shops. That is the "clutter".

And, when I asked one shop manger "why no carbon steel chef's knives anymore?"; her answer was, "Oh, people keep those to use".

I know it's just one little slice of personal experience, but I thought I would put it out there. Maybe now I'm just looking for knives in all the wrong places.

kootenay joe
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Re: Howell & James Co Regent Street knives

Postby kootenay joe » Tue Jan 29, 2019 1:27 am

Thank you for explaining this. I now can remember watching ebay auctions some years ago and being amazed at how high the prices were for very old large Chef's knives. Big old French "Sabatier" (wrong spelling) were getting close to $200.
Your point is well taken; the old Chef's knives are not in the same 'market' as the household carving sets.
There are some outstanding very high end British carving sets. In Britain the Sunday "joint" (British for "roast") was the most important meal of the week. Your status had to be matched by your carving sets. Lots of very wealthy Lords, Earls, Dukes, etc and their carving sets have finest stag or ivory with lots of sterling silver embellishments. All going for a song.
kj


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