We have a rare set of Community Plate Art Deco Grosvenor pattern Bakelite "Jewel Handle" dinner knives. Community Plate began operations in Oneida Creek, New York in 1877, and operates today as Oneida Ltd. Our particular knife set was designed by Allen Grosvenor, a son of the Oneida Community. Production of this magnificent pattern began in 1921, and it is apparent that the pattern was deeply inspired by the popular Art Deco influences at the time. The top and bottom surfaces of the luxurious handles boasts emerald pearlized coloring with an ornate design of urns, acanthus and a sizable rectangular cartouche which was reserved for engraved monogramming. (These knives are not monogrammed.) The soft, rounded edges of the top and bottom of the handles have a small indented channel which spans the outside edge, and is decorated with fine fluting. Sandwiched between the decorative outer surfaces is a contrasting layer of solid emerald green Bakelite. See picture #4 below.
Community Plate produced their "Jewel Handle" utensils in green, red and blue to match some of their popular silverplate patterns such as our Grosvenor, Bird of Paradise, Paul Revere, Patrician and Deauville. Each knife measures 9-1/2". The blades of the knives are stainless steel, and are marked Deluxe Stainless. The solid layer of emerald green on the knife handle is marked Community.
I don't believe that these knives were ever used. They are in near mint condition with only the slightest of scratches visible on the knife blades where they have come in contact with each other. The pattern on the Bakelite handles is fully intact with no scratches or burns. None of the stainless steel knife blades have metal loss. (But as you can see from my pictures, the knife blades reflect everything!) I have tested the Bakelite jewel handles with Simichrome Polish for authenticity. I have tested the Bakelite jewel handles with Simichrome Polish for authenticity. The knives come in a vintage burgundy cloth silverware storage bag.
BRIEF HISTORY: The Oneida Community was a religious commune which assembled in 1848 in Oneida Creek, New York, led by John Humphrey Noyes, who was the founder of the religious movement known as Perfectionism. It was the Oneida Community's religious philosophies and progressive nature which propelled the long enduring success of the company. They allowed female leadership, shared ideation from community members which unltimately led to successful development, and shared stock ownership. So dedicated and successful were the members of the Community, that attempts to organize their operation failed. But the same was not true for their competitors. While they struggled with the unions, Community Plate gained a strong foothold in the market.