Antique Silver and Japanese Kozuka Cutlery


Stock: 8766

Date: 1898 - 1900

Maker: Allen & Darwin

Country: England

A rare and stunning set of antique dessert cutlery made from antique Japanese kosuka handles with English sterling silver blades....

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A rare and stunning set of antique dessert cutlery made from antique Japanese kosuka handles with English sterling silver blades. 36 pieces, 18 knives and 18 forks, all fitted in a solid wood box with velvet lining. The shibuichi* metal handles are very beautiful; with bronze, copper, silver and gold patination and having raised, inlaid decorative motifs such as figures, fish, dragons etc; some are very interesting such as the man ploughing a field with a horse, fishermen at sea in a boat. Knives – length 21 cms, Sheffield 1900, maker Allen & Darwin. Forks – length 18 cms (1 fork is 17 cms), Sheffield 1898, maker George Edward & Sons. The handles are earlier, most likely circa 1880.

Literature: The kozuka is the decorative handle for the kogatana, which is a small utility knife which fits into a pocket on the scabbard of a Japanese sword.

*The Japanese shibuichi metalwork is very fine. This alloy consists of approximately 25% silver mixed with copper which can be patinated to a range of colours from silver, through grey, to a variety of browns (information courtesy of the V & A http://collections.vam.ac.uk/item/O192817/kozuka/)

Signed/Inscribed: Three knives and one fork have a Japanese signature on the reverse side.


This unusual set of cutlery is in good but used condition. All the knife and fork blades have a full set of clear English silver hallmarks, some of the knife blades are a little ragged. Some handles show signs of wear, slight dents, scratches to the patination. The wooden box interior is a bit tatty. One fork handle is a centimetre shorter and the fitted box has been made to account for this. Please note that this item is not new and will show moderate signs of wear commensurate with age. Reflections in the photograph may detract from the true representation of this item.

Maker Information

Maker: Allen & Darwin

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