A Maid’s Goodbye Gift

Antique Antics


This may look like a simple Butter Knife.

But, in fact, it is the best Butter Knife in the kitchen.
However, it hasn’t always lived in our particular kitchen with me.
Instead it has a history, and has made a home for itself in numerous locations.
This eighty-seven year old knife was given to my Great-Grandmother as she finished her service as a maid. Having fallen in love with the fairly modern equivalent of a Footman, she was unable,  due to regulations of the period, to be in a relationship with this gentleman whilst under the employment of the household.
Instead she was made to choose. And she did. She chose him.
In 1929 my Great-Grandmother was given this ivory handled knife as a parting gift from her employers. At the time an item such as this, in perfect condition, was viewed as valuable as well as desirable.
And so it began it’s life with my Great-Grandmother and Great-Grandfather.


Then my mum appeared. Living with her nan throughout her late teens and quite a portion of her twenties, the knife was constantly disappearing into her bedroom to peel and slice apples. Still comically associated with this knife in my mum’s mind, her nan’s voice bellowing a single phrase up the staircase revealed that her thievery had been discovered.

“Where’s the bloody butter knife?!”

After she passed away the knife ended up in my mum’s hands and so into our kitchen drawer. It has been spreading butter on crumpets, jam and marmalade on toast and coating sandwiches with pickle for years since the transition and rehoming.

Strange that being coated in ivory transforms a blade into a symbol of thanks and appreciation.

Ironic that a potential weapon is exchanged when love is pursued.


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