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Three Piece 'Bone Handled' Stainless Steel Carving Set

Maker - Westall Richardson Ltd

Made - 1940's era

A note from Geoff on Monday 5th March 2007
In July 2006 we bought a Bone Handled Cutlery Set
which was made by Grosvenor - and
click here to see the details
Since then I have had my eye out for a matching carving set
......which I remember my Dad using, many years ago
A few have been on the Ebay Auctions
but most of them had 'very yellowed' handles
Others were only two of the pieces - the 'knife+fork' or the 'knife+steel'
This set looks perfect!!!
The seller says "as new" and "original box" - and the price seemed okay
PS - it should be very interesting to see Sharon using the steel!!!


- The Ebay Auction

Vintage Three Piece Stainless Steel Carving Set
From the 1940's
Carving Knife - Fork - Sharpening Steel
As new!!
In it's original box!!
This three piece stainless steel bone-handled carving set was a wedding gift - c1949
It has never been used
Made in Sheffield, England
It would be perfect for any traditional roast!
Item location - Central Victoria Australia
This auction ended on Saturday 3rd March 2007
The starting price was set at $29.50 and there was only one bid during the auction
And that was ours!!! - and we paid $29.50 plus postage and insurance


More Photos
taken after the set was delivered


Correspondence with the seller, Beverley Carter
after the set was delivered

"Bone Handles" and "Xylonite Handles"

An email I sent Beverley on Tuesday 13th March 2007
The Carving Set arrived okay!
I am just about to log in to Ebay and leave positive feedback
However, I do have a question
The handles on this set "intrigue" my wife and myself
We have a Grosvenor Cutlery Set, and this Carving Set was bought to "sorta" match in with this
The Grosvenor Set has bone handles, and these are just the slightest bit yellowed (as they tend to be) with lots of 'styrations' along the length of the handle due to the natural effect/appearance of the bone
The handles on this Carving Set are brilliant white - and almost look like "plastic" compared to the Grosvenor handles
And there are no natural 'styrations' at all - just a very smooth finish
Are you able to clarify that they truly are bone handles?
As mentioned above, this is just a question --- not a complaint!
Regards, Geoff

......and the reply from Beverley
Hi Geoff
I am glad you are pleased with the carving set!
The term 'bone' continued to be used for cutlery handles made of xylonite (a cellulose-based material, which we would call 'plastic', but the term was not then in use), which imitated bone (which in turn 'imitated' - ie substituted for - ivory)
I should have clarified this in the description, and I apologise for the confusion
Xylonite was used (along with its near-relative, bakelite) from the 1920's thru the 1950's, when modern plastics (which are petroleum-based) arrived on the scene

The reason the handles are white is that they have never been out of the box
With normal use, they would gradually have 'yellowed', as do bone and ivory
It is difficult to get an exact match between these old sets because of the different 'aging' effect
In the antique trade, a 'set' that does not quite match (or 'sorta' matches) is known as a 'harlequin' set, so think of it that way!
These days I have harlequin sets of wine glasses, cutlery, chairs, you name it, I think I must be aging!!
Cheers, and have a great week, Bev C

Another note to Beverley
Thank you for that very complete and very informative answer
The details you supplied are interesting and really appreciated
Regards, Geoff

......and the reply
No problem, Geoff
I should have included some of this info in the original description
I also forgot to mention, tho I am sure that you would know, don't put these old cutlery items in the dishwasher!
I have left positive feedback for you
Thanks for being such an excellent trading partner!
Cheers, Bev


Markings on the Set

The Box

The Knife

The Fork


The Steel



Searching for Information #01 - The Company

I have searched the internet
and below is the only reference I can find to Westall Richardson Ltd
The notes are from an American web site (as per the logo)
and the reference is to the company in the 1980's
It does not mention the 'early years'
There is nothing available anywhere that refers to England - but I will keep looking!!

(click on the logo to go to the Official Web Site)

The nature of the typical cutlery firm changed dramatically by the 1990's

The small shop still existed, but was rare

Despite complaints of unfair competition and "dumping" from the traditional centers of the industry, accompanied by demands for ever-higher tariff protection, mass marketing firms in countries like China, Japan, Brazil, and Korea made steady inroads and forced the old firms to reassess their operations

Many failed, but some, like Westall Richardson of Britain, succeeded

Westall Richardson became Europe's largest producer of kitchen knives by 1987 and captured thirty-three-percent of the British market

Most of its four-hundred employees were unskilled laborers - the company concentrated its expertise in engineering and marketing

By the late 1980's, Sheffield, the mecca of the industry, could only support a small number of specialized firms as well as an equally small collection of master cutlers, known as "Little Masters"

In the late 1980's, one of the few remaining cutlery factories in Sheffield, the Globe Works, received a $1.5 million historic restoration grant
Because the center was built as an integrated factory in 1825, it included facilities for every part of the cutlery manufacturing process, from charcoal-burning furnaces to grinding and finishing workshops
The grant was used to restore the workshops and manager's residence destroyed in a fire in 1970
The restored works provided a site where the vanishing skills of the little masters could be passed on to later generations of crafters
Plans call for the complex to become a showplace for the industry and a training facility for the British Cutlery and Silverware Association


Searching for Information #02 - The Brand and Markings

I have looked around Ebay and other auction sites, and there are a number of Westall Richardson carving sets listed

Ours has a marking on the knife -
"RICHEDGE" - as shown in the shots above
A high percentage of the other sets have the marks shown in this photo

I cannot find another reference to "RICHEDGE"

Does this make our set rare?? - hard to find?? - and valuable??
Who knows!!! - just more "looking-and-research" needed!!!


Other - - Auctions for Carving Sets
......for "price comparisons"


Complete Sets

Auction #01
Vintage bone handled carving set - made by Viner and Hall - this set is in near new condition - the auction ended on Saturday 3rd March 2007 and the starting price was set at $25.00
There were no bids and the seller immediately relisted the set with a 'Buy-it-Now' price of $26.00 - and it sold
Final selling price - $26.00
Auction #02
Up for auction is an antique bone handled carving set - Firth Stainless - states on the knife 'H Samuel Warranted Sheffield' - bone handles - the set comes in it's original silk lined box - all pieces are in good condition - however, it looks like it is missing a piece and that could have been the sharpener/steel? - the knife measures approx 14 inches long with the handle being about 4.5 inches - the fork measures approx 10 inches long with the handle being about 4 inches - and the box measures 16 inches x 5.5 inches - the auction ended on Thursday 8th March 2007 and the starting price was set at $12.95
Final selling price - $12.95
Auction #03
Three piece carving set - consisting of a large 35cm knife which is marked 'Cutlers Edwin Usher Sheffield Firth Brearley' - the sharpening rod/steel is 31cm long and is marked 'Will Sharpen Stainless' - and the fork is 26cm long and has a spring stay - overall this is a very lovely old set in a very good condition - the auction ended on Friday 9th March 2007 and the starting price was set at $20.00
Final selling price - $20.00
Auction #04
Bone handled three piece carving set - beautifully made and in quite good condition - it is useable but the knife needs sharpening - the knife is 34cm long, the fork 23cm long, and the sharpening tool is 28cm long - the auction ended on Sunday 11th March 2007 and the starting price was set at $9.90
Final selling price - $9.90
Auction #05
Vintage Wiltshire Deluxe carving set - it is new and never been out of the box - but through no usage the steel has some rust marks on the end - and there is also signs of age around the knife and fork joins - it's a beautiful white bone handles set in good vintage condition - the auction ended on Saturday 17th March 2007 and the starting price was set at $19.90
There were no bids
Auction #06
Antique boxed carving set - by Harrison Bros and Howson Sheffield England - the box reads 'By appointment Silversmiths and Cutlers to HM King George V1' - with bone handles which are great - the sharpener has a few stains on the metal - the box measures 37cm and the lid has a tear to the left side - the auction ended on Friday 16th March 2007 and the starting price was set at $12.00
Final selling price - $37.50
Auction #07
Beautiful antique carver set including steel, knife and holding fork thingy - the set has bone handles and comes in it's original case which has the original interior - there is some slight damage to side of case, which may be leather covered but I'm not sure - this set was found in a clean out of deceased relatives house and is not wanted by anyone - Taylor Witness Sheffield is marked on the knife - looks to be hardly used, and this would be a great gift for that person with everything or to an antique collector - the auction ended on Thursday 22nd May 2008 and the starting price was set at $40.00
Final selling price - $61.00

Individual Pieces

Auction #01
Vintage bone handled carving knife - stainless steel - Sheffield, England - this is an outstanding knife - there are no real signs of use - in excellent vintage/preloved condition - the knife measures in total 31.5cm with the blade being 21.5cm - the auction ended on Sunday 11th March 2007 and the starting price was set at $16.95
Final selling price - $30.70
Auction #02
Vintage bone handled carving fork - in stainless steel - this is a lovely fork with the safe guard - very good to excellent vintage/preloved condition - this fork measures in total 25cm - the auction ended on Sunday 11th March 2007 and the starting price was set at $16.95
Final selling price - $16.95
Auction #03
Vintage bone handled steel - this is a wonderful find! - this is a real honey - the bone handle is not split at all, but does have a few dings which is to be expected for it's age - the sharpening steel measures 21cm and the handle 10cm - they are so very easy to use! - all homes used to have one and generally papa made a show of sharpening the carving knife at the table for Sunday's roast! - the auction was listed with a 'Buy-it-Now' price of $10.00
Item did not sell
Auction #04
Sheffield bone handled carving knife - inscription on blade reads '1 Guide Frank Wood Sheffield England Firth Stainless' - the handle when you look side on with the cutting edge towards you is rounded, and front on it's square - approx measurements 35cm total, with the blade being 24cm and the handle 11cm - the auction ended on Wednesday 14th March 2007 and the starting price was set at $5.00
Final selling price - $15.50
Auction #05
Vintage bone handled carving fork - this is lovely - made out of stainless steel - the bone handle measures approximately 10cm and the overall length is 26cm - the detail between the bone and the tines is lovely - the end of the handle of this fork is capped with stainless - the auction ended on Friday 16th March 2007 and the starting price was set at $5.00
There were no bids