Cutlery. A cutlery blog… but not just any cutlery. This cutlery is different. Very different. Arthur Price cutlery is something else. The history of this prestigious family run business, and the links to historic events and people are fascinating. Read on to find out more, and how you could impress your dinner guests with replica cutlery used on the Titanic!
Let’s get to know Arthur Price: The History
Arthur Price was born in 1865. As a young man he spent 20 years working in the flatware trade around the Birmingham area, learning every flatware skill that he could along the way. Whilst doing so (whilst also working long days for his employers) he bought second hand machinery and made his own tools and dies, setting up his own little workshop in his front room at home.
In 1902 Arthur Price & Co. Ltd was founded (a year after Potters of Hockley was founded!), and Arthur’s business moved to a small factory. It had no electricity… small gas engines were used to cast, and he employed 12 people. There was lots of competition in the flatware trade, but Arthur Price & Co stood out from the crowd down to their business acumen and hard work. This led to larger premises, more equipment and a prospering business. Products were being exported overseas, and Arthur Price were the first to make chromium plated cutlery; the forerunner in stainless steel and innovation.
The cutlery produced was of such high quality that Arthur Price became the first to guarantee their products, and also the largest manufacturer of stainless steel cutlery by the 1950’s.
Simon Price, Arthur’s Great Grandson, is now Chief Executive and runs the long established and reputable family business.
The Prominence of Arthur Price: The Titanic, The Royal Family and more
Ok, so this is where things become really interesting! And I mean interesting.
Let’s start with the Royal links…
Her Majesty The Queen was so impressed with Arthur Price Cutlery that she granted a Royal Warrant in 1977. 11 years later came the second Royal Warrant; this time to His Royal Highness, The Prince Of Wales. Now if The Royal Family approve, you know that this cutlery is something very, very special!
Even the Beckhams own an Arthur Price sterling silver canteen. In fact, it was a salubrious gift given to them to celebrate their marriage in 1999.
Then in 2000, Arthur Price supplied one million teaspoons to celebrate the Millennium. In subsequent years, they have collaborated with the likes of Lord Lichfield and Sophie Conran. The Savoy Hotel in London, one of the most iconic in the world, uses bespoke Arthur Price cutlery… a testament to the luxurious quality, attention to detail, and design that goes into each piece of Arthur Price cutlery.
Now let’s talk about The Titanic. This is truly fascinating…
RMS Titanic and Arthur Price
I’m sure that most people know about The Titanic, whether it be through the history books or the 1997 11 Academy Award-winning James Cameron film starring Kate Winslet and Leonardo DiCaprio. But did you know that some of the Titanic cutlery was Arthur Price cutlery used on the Titanic?
Owned by The White Star Line, the ‘unsinkable’ RMS Titanic was the most luxurious liner of its day, and the largest moving object ever built. It took 3 years to build in Belfast. It set sail on its maiden, and only, voyage on 10th April 2012 from Southampton, heading to New York. Only 4 days into its journey, at 11.40p.m, it hit an iceberg. Within 3 hours, RMS Titanic has sunk and only 705 of the 2228 people onboard survive.
For more than 70 years, the RMS Titanic’s wreck lay untouched on the seabed; around 2.5 miles below sea level. With it lay all of its belongings, including White Star Line cutlery designed by Arthur Price himself. Two designs have been identified: in 1987 the Dubarry design was discovered. In 1994 the Panel Reed design was discovered – found in one of the ships copper dishwasher! The latter would have been used at the Captain’s table and for first class passengers – luxurious White Star Line cutlery for its pride and joy liner.
And so came the film ‘Titanic’ in 1997. Arthur Price were asked to create reproductions of the Titanic cutlery, to be used in the film. The Dubarry design was used in the film during the dining scenes. The film went on to become, to this day, one of the most successful films ever to be made. Arthur Price is part of two absolutely huge parts of history.
In 2012, to mark the 100th Anniversary of the ship’s sinking, Arthur Price started making commemorative Titanic cutlery. The good news is that you can own some!
The Arthur Price Titanic cutlery forms part of the Arthur Price of England 100-year commemorative collection. It commemorates and replicates the cutlery that was supplied to the White Star Line’s pride and joy, RMS Titanic. Originally, the cutlery would have been used by first class passengers and at the Captain’s table. Featuring the unique panel reed design on the handles, each piece is crafted from premium 18 / 10 stainless steel. Each knife features the White Star Line’s famous logo on its blade, just as they were produced for the ship back in 2012.
Click here to hear Simon Price talk about the discovery of Arthur Price Titanic cutlery.
The interest and intrigue of RMS Titanic has not diminished; an eternal fascination of its tragic end has remained to this day, fuelled by its wreck being found in 1985 and the expeditions that followed to recover its artefacts.
Simon Price stated that it was a true honour for Arthur Price to be able to commemorate the 100th anniversary of RMS Titanic and make a tribute to the memory of all those who lost their lives in one of the most deadliest peacetime maritime disasters.
Although Titanic cutlery that is part of the Arthur Price of England 100-year commemorative collection are essential items for Titanic collectors, the cutlery is also designed and built for everyday use, to enjoy the luxury and quality that would have been experienced back in 2012.
To view Arthur Price Titanic cutlery click here.
So there you have it – the history of Arthur Price and their link to such a fascinating and intriguing part of history. I told you that this blog wasn’t just about ‘cutlery’… enjoy luxurious dining once you own some Arthur Price.
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