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  1. #1
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    determining the age of a Joseph Rodgers knife

    alright, i know i'm opening a complicated can of worms here, but i thought it might be interesting to have a list of POSSIBLE ways of determining the age of a joseph rodgers knife.
    here's a list of factors i've collected.


    cutlers to his majesty---------after 1822 (George IV) (rodgers granted royal warrant in 1822)

    cutlers to their majesties------1830-1837, sporadically after this date (William IV & Adelaide)

    cutlers to her majesty---------1837-1901 (Victoria)

    "England" on the tang---------after 1891

    cutlers to his majesty---------1901-1910 (Edward VII)

    "no 6 norfolk street" address---sold in 1929 (tang stamp still used through the 1930s)

    cutlers to his majesty----------1910-1936 (George V)

    cutlers to his majesty----------1936-1952 (George VI)


    if any of these are incorrect, or if you have anything else to add to the list, please post it below.
    i know there are much more informed experts on this subject, so please chime in.
    we all know these dates don't necessarily give a concrete date for the knife's manufacture (due to the use of old stock blades, etc), but they can help narrow things down.
    Last edited by mito0; 17-04-12 at 03:12 PM. Reason: new information

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    Re: determining the age of a Joseph Rodgers knife

    Hi there, first of all, the 1929 closure of Norfolk street doesnt mean anything as i have knives which are dated in the late 1930's which still use the stamp. I don't think they appear on knives after about 1940 though.

    I have never seen a rodgers knife stamped JOSEPH RODGERS & SONS LTD. That may be one to watch out for, to see if it has a star and cross mark.

    I am not sure about the cutlers to their majesties mark but i do know they were definitely stamping some edwardian knives with that stamp so I don't think that means a great deal either. Also, the cutlers to their majesties stamp was definitely used on William the 4th knives which obviously predate victoria and albert so i don't think it necessarily refers to them. I think it simply means that the company has been cutlers to various members of royalty.

    Unless it is dated, it usually has to be a rough guess I'm afraid, especially as a lot of the knife patterns remained the same for decades.

    Andy

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    Re: determining the age of a Joseph Rodgers knife

    I need to go find it but I have one with a tang stamp that says "Cutlers to His late Majesty." I can't remember if it was a Joseph Rodgers or not. I really need to find that one.
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    Re: determining the age of a Joseph Rodgers knife

    That would be a rarity IH. It would be great if you could find that and show it at some point.

    I have a receipt which is headed with cutlers to his majesty king edward the 7th and then also to her majesty the late queen victoria. Quite unusual (i mean for a rodgers receipt, i don't mean unusual in general)

    Andy

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    Re: determining the age of a Joseph Rodgers knife

    Quote Originally Posted by RodgersLad View Post
    Hi there, first of all, the 1929 closure of Norfolk street doesnt mean anything as i have knives which are dated in the late 1930's which still use the stamp. I don't think they appear on knives after about 1940 though.

    I have never seen a rodgers knife stamped JOSEPH RODGERS & SONS LTD. That may be one to watch out for, to see if it has a star and cross mark.

    I am not sure about the cutlers to their majesties mark but i do know they were definitely stamping some edwardian knives with that stamp so I don't think that means a great deal either. Also, the cutlers to their majesties stamp was definitely used on William the 4th knives which obviously predate victoria and albert so i don't think it necessarily refers to them. I think it simply means that the company has been cutlers to various members of royalty.

    Unless it is dated, it usually has to be a rough guess I'm afraid, especially as a lot of the knife patterns remained the same for decades.

    Andy
    hi andy,
    i was hoping you might wade into this discussion.
    great information.
    i completely left out poor william iv in my timeline.
    oops.
    would you say the "cutlers to his/her/their majesty" stamps are somewhat useful markers to date later rodgers knives?
    surely there's something that can be useful to collectors here.
    Last edited by mito0; 16-04-12 at 10:21 PM.

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    Re: determining the age of a Joseph Rodgers knife

    This topic was covered at length two or three years ago; particularly regarding the difference between the terms 'Royal Warrant of Appointment' and 'Royal Cypher'.

    The term 'MAJESTY' can only apply to the Monarch i.e. a King or a Queen with princes and princesses being addressed by the title His or Her Royal Highness.

    When a King is crowned his wife if he has one becomes Queen Consort, but when a Queen is crowned her husband becomes Prince Consort and he can never be referred to as MAJESTY.

    Victoria and Albert could never therefore be referred to as 'Their Majesties' and the fact that Albert died in 1861 has absolutely no bearing on cutlery trademarks for that period.
    T
    Last edited by OWDTOM; 01-05-12 at 09:22 PM.

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    Re: determining the age of a Joseph Rodgers knife

    The earliest 'their majesties mark' was used on William the 4th knives and I remember once reading that it referred to William and his wife Queen Adelaide. I suppose any knife stamped 'their majesties' after then would have referred to all the Kings and Queens previously so a knife stamped Their majesties made in 1890 would refer to Queen Victoria, Queen Adelaide, William the 4th and George the 4th.

    So basically, the their majesties mark is not useful in dating a knife.

    Andy

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    Re: determining the age of a Joseph Rodgers knife

    Quote Originally Posted by OWDTOM View Post
    This topic was covered at length two or three years ago; particularly regarding the difference between the terms 'Royal Warrant of Appointment' and 'Royal Cypher'.

    The term 'MAJESTY' can only apply to the Monarch i.e. a King or a Queen with princes and princesses being addressed by the title His or Her Royal Highness.

    When a King is crowned his wife if he has one becomes Queen, but when a Queen is crowned her husband becomes Prince Consort and he can never be referred to as MAJESTY.

    Victoria and Albert could never therefore be referred to as 'Their Majesties' and the fact that Albert died in 1861 has absolutely no bearing on cutlery trademarks for that period.
    T
    interesting information as always, owdtom.
    thanks.

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    Re: determining the age of a Joseph Rodgers knife

    Quote Originally Posted by RodgersLad View Post
    The earliest 'their majesties mark' was used on William the 4th knives and I remember once reading that it referred to William and his wife Queen Adelaide. I suppose any knife stamped 'their majesties' after then would have referred to all the Kings and Queens previously so a knife stamped Their majesties made in 1890 would refer to Queen Victoria, Queen Adelaide, William the 4th and George the 4th.

    So basically, the their majesties mark is not useful in dating a knife.

    Andy
    makes sense.
    what about the "her" or "his" majesty marks?
    is it safe to say MOST "her majesty" marks were made during Victoria's reign?
    or that MOST "his majesty" marks were made from 1901-1952?

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    Re: determining the age of a Joseph Rodgers knife

    Quote Originally Posted by RodgersLad View Post
    I suppose any knife stamped 'their majesties' after then would have referred to all the Kings and Queens previously so a knife stamped Their majesties made in 1890 would refer to Queen Victoria, Queen Adelaide, William the 4th and George the 4th.

    So basically, the their majesties mark is not useful in dating a knife.

    Andy


    I agree with you Andy that 'Cutlers to Their Majesties' is of little or no use for dating purposes, but your assumption about it including previous Kings and Queens is not the case.

    Our current Queen has granted 686 Warrants; her Consort Prince Philip - 27; and the Heir to the Throne Prince Charles - 159. The late Queen Mother was also a grantor of Royal Warrants and those still standing at the time of her death in 2002 were allowed to run for a further five years until 2007. Remember here that George VI died fifty years earlier and goods associated with Her Warrants throughout that time couldn't possibly carry the words 'Their Majesties'

    The point being that all R.W.'s no matter whom the Grantor might be, are for five years only, at which time they automatically come up for review - or sooner than that if the grantee dies or the business folds.
    Only tradespeople supplying goods or services to members of the Royal Household - of whom there are a great many - can qualify for a Royal Warrant. For example Thomas Turner & Sons and several other Cutlery Firms had Royal Warrants granted to them at different times over the years, but it would be totally wrong to assume that a blade marked 'Cutlers to Their Majesties' granted to Company X for the first time say in Edward VII's reign, included supplying previous Monarchs.
    T

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    Re: determining the age of a Joseph Rodgers knife

    Quote Originally Posted by OWDTOM View Post
    I agree with you Andy that 'Cutlers to Their Majesties' is of little or no use for dating purposes, T
    Goins' Encyclopedia of Cutlery Markings 1998 states on page 234

    "RODGERS CUTLERS TO THEIR MAJESTIES
    c1877 - present "No.6 Norfolk St. Sheffield", a star and a cross is stamped on the tangs. The phrase "Cutlers to Their Majesties" was used prior to 1877"

  12. #12
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    Re: determining the age of a Joseph Rodgers knife

    i wonder why goins chose the 1877 date?
    regardless, rodgers used the "cutlers to their majesties" mark both before and after that date.
    i think owdtom and rodgerslad are correct - it's not a useful mark to judge the age of a knife.
    i still believe "her majesty" and "his majesty" are useful, though.

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    Re: determining the age of a Joseph Rodgers knife

    As all our Kings took wives at some stage, they automatically became Queens and were referred to thereafter as Her/Your Majesty, simple logic indicates that 'Cutlers to His Majesty' meant the King ONLY had granted a Royal Warrant to companies like Rodgers for example.

    Therefore. to use a mark referring to them both i.e. 'their majesties' has got to mean that both King and Queen each granted a separate Royal Warrant to the same company for whatever reason. It could well be that the Queen in question selected all the tableware etc for different parts of the Royal Household.
    T

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    Re: determining the age of a Joseph Rodgers knife

    Quote Originally Posted by OWDTOM View Post
    I agree with you Andy that 'Cutlers to Their Majesties' is of little or no use for dating purposes, but your assumption about it including previous Kings and Queens is not the case.

    Our current Queen has granted 686 Warrants; her Consort Prince Philip - 27; and the Heir to the Throne Prince Charles - 159. The late Queen Mother was also a grantor of Royal Warrants and those still standing at the time of her death in 2002 were allowed to run for a further five years until 2007. Remember here that George VI died fifty years earlier and goods associated with Her Warrants throughout that time couldn't possibly carry the words 'Their Majesties'

    The point being that all R.W.'s no matter whom the Grantor might be, are for five years only, at which time they automatically come up for review - or sooner than that if the grantee dies or the business folds.
    Only tradespeople supplying goods or services to members of the Royal Household - of whom there are a great many - can qualify for a Royal Warrant. For example Thomas Turner & Sons and several other Cutlery Firms had Royal Warrants granted to them at different times over the years, but it would be totally wrong to assume that a blade marked 'Cutlers to Their Majesties' granted to Company X for the first time say in Edward VII's reign, included supplying previous Monarchs.
    T
    While everything you say here is true, in terms of the royal warrant lasting for five years etc this does not necessarily mean anything about the royal warrant mark on rodgers items.

    For example, i recently bought a piece of silver in a case which was hallmarked for 1927. Inside the case, it was stamped Silversmiths to her majesty the late Queen Victoria, who obviously died in 1901. This proves that it is actually not unusual to refer to previous royal warrants that were given. I have also seen Rodgers themselves print reciepts dated 1907 which say cutlers to the late Queen Victoria. Now to me, Rodgers marking their items as cutlers to the current Majesty and all late previous majesties could be stamped as RODGERS CUTLERS TO THEIR MAJESTIES without any problems. Of course, to stamp something as cutlers to Queen Victoria as though she were still alive in 1920 would not be right, there is no argument about that.

    The point about the RODGERS CUTLERS TO THEIR MAJESTIES mark is that it is vague, it refers to nobody in particular (in that it mentions no names). The stamp for me will always stand for cutlers to the current monarch and any other previous majesties which is why I do not believe it to be useful in dating a knife.

    Andy

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    Re: determining the age of a Joseph Rodgers knife

    [QUOTE=RodgersLad;1921680]
    For example, i recently bought a piece of silver in a case which was hallmarked for 1927. Inside the case, it was stamped Silversmiths to her majesty the late Queen Victoria, who obviously died in 1901. This proves that it is actually not unusual to refer to previous royal warrants that were given............................................. .......................

    What this really reveals Andy is that the silversmiths who made your 1927 piece HADN'T held a Royal Warrant throughout the nine year reign of Edward VII or George V thus far in his reign; and if this were so it would raise the question WHY?. Either that or they were being crassly disrespectful to the two Monarchs in question. Does the actual word 'Victoria' appear in the inscription or does it say 'Silversmiths to Her Late Majesty? If so it would refer to Edward's Queen Consort, Alexandra who died two years earlier in 1925.............................................. ..


    I have also seen Rodgers themselves print reciepts dated 1907 which say cutlers to the late Queen Victoria..................


    Why would Rodgers wish to do this six years into the reign of Edward VII when at that time they held his and his Queen's warrant?.......................................... ......

    We can discuss this topic over the phone sometime if you wish - the complexities would be far easier to explain than in script.

    T
    Last edited by OWDTOM; 02-05-12 at 09:47 AM.

 

 

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