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Knife with stainless steel blade and yellow handle

Date: 1910s-1920s
Dimensions:
Overall: 201 x 19 x 11 mm, 38.27 g
Medium: Metal, EPNS
Credit Line: ANMM Collection
Classification:Tools and equipment
Object Name: Knife
Object No: 00047015

User Terms

    Description
    Picnic sets became an essential part of a traveller's luggage in the days of coach travel in the 18th and 19th centuries. With the introduction of the 'horseless carriage' and the increased popularity of motoring in the early 20th century, picnic sets were produced in a variety of sizes and styles.

    The earliest picnic sets were made from wicker with simple arrangements of flasks glasses and sandwich tins. More lavish sets aimed at the wealthy were made in leather and sumptuously fitted with seperate compartments for plates, saucers, glasses, sandwich boxes, condiment sets, milk bottles, drinks bottles, kettles, burners, oil (fuel) containers. Sometimes ceramic butter and preserves pots were supplied with lids secured by leather straps.


    SignificanceThis six person picnic set is representative of the the English picnic set in Britain and Australia for picnics in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.



    HistoryPicnic sets became an essential part of a traveller's luggage in the days of coach travel in the 18th and 19th centuries. With the introduction of the 'horseless carriage' and the increased popularity of motoring in the early 20th century, picnic sets were produced in a variety of sizes and styles as the popularity of informal outdoor eating increased and the population became more mobile.

    Early picnic sets were generally wicker cased with simple arrangements of flasks glasses and sandwich tins. More lavish sets aimed at the wealthy were made in leather and sumptuously fitted with separate compartments for plates, saucers, glasses, sandwich boxes, condiment sets, milk bottles, drinks bottles, kettles, burners, oil (fuel) containers. Sometimes ceramic butter and preserves pots were supplied with lids secured by leather straps.

    The finest sets were made by Asprey, Barratt, Coracle, Drew, Louis Vuitton, Mappin & Webb and Vickery and could be ordered through motoring catalogues from Harrods and Brown Brothers.

    From the early 1900s wicker picnic sets were made by female labour and intricate sets were produced by skilled workers from leading makers such as Barratt, Vickery and Drew. The most common styles of wicker picnic sets were fold-fronted and suitcase sets. The first picnic sets were made for two settings followed by larger sets for four or six settings. Suitcased sets were more portable than their fold-fronted counterparts.

    In Australia picnics were a popular pastime during the summer months at beaches, on harbour foreshores and river banks. In the 1890s wicker picnic sets could be purchased through Sydney retailers such as Lassetter & Co in George Street and were advertised in trade catalogues and the Sydney Mail as 'summer necessaries'.

    In the 19th century publications such as 'Cassell's Household Guide' and the 'Australian Enquiry Book' provided instructions on what to wear to picnics as well as what to take in the way of provisions and picnic sets.
    Related People
    Maker: Coracle

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