Century Antiques is located in Kilby, United Kingdom
Alexander Ritchie Designed / Iona Silver Letter Opener C.1935
REF: CA2064 / LA142973
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This is a nice and certainly unusual letter opener dating from around the first 3 decades of the 20th century. The design is produced in the Celtic revival style with its intricate Celtic knot and zoomorphic patterns. The actual design was originally that of the famous Scottish Iona based silversmith, Alexander Ritchie who based his numerous designs on the ancient architectural features of the Hebridean Island of Iona. Ritchie passed away in 1942 having produced pieces in silver, brass and copper since the early years of the 20th century - even during his lifetime silver work was outsourced to a number of silversmiths in Scotland as well as Birmingham and Chester - this continued after his death with companies still producing his distinctive designs to capitalise on the popularity of the Celtic revival style. If you take a look at the last picture in the set there is a screen shot taken from the excellent Alexander Ritchie tribute website. The picture shows a spoon with an identical motif to the terminal which would definitively prove that this is a Ritchie design. The piece is simply marked 'Silver' to the reverse (see picture 5) so it's impossible to say for sure who made the item - there were a lot of small workshops operating at the time turning out work to cater for the tourist industry so potentially it could of been made as far north as Scotland right down to Birmingham! I know of Ritchie designed and hallmarked letter openers from the 20's and 30's but so far I've not managed to find one identical to this design - it's possible he never actually made this design and only used it on the aforementioned spoon - an enterprising silver workshop obviously recognised its potential and crafted this piece. It's difficult to be precise on the dating of this item given that it's not fully hallmarked, but I would estimate from the style and overall wear and patina that it would date from around the 1930's - of course it could be a little earlier or later. All in all it's a nice collectable and usable piece - if this item had carried the A.R mark for Alexander Ritchie the price would be over the £200 mark or even significantly more through specialist dealers, so this is a great value item!
Century Antiques has clarified that the Alexander Ritchie Designed / Iona Silver Letter Opener C.1935 (LA142973) is genuinely of the period declared with the date/period of manufacture being c.1935
This items condition is good for its age and shows a perfectly normal level or wear and patina to the surface - the area of silver in amongst the Celtic knot patterns has darkened over time which really makes the design stand out - years of handling and polishing has softened some areas of the high points and taken away some of the detail, but this doesn't detract at all.
Delivery to U.K. addresses is FREE (sent via a signed for service). Delivery to Europe is £7.95 (tracked / signed for). Delivery to outside Europe is £8.95 (tracked / signed for).
This Alexander Ritchie Designed / Iona Silver Letter Opener C.1935 is located in Kilby, United Kingdom