How many knives can you lose in 50 years? I was shocked to see that from a set of 12 knives, only one remained. I wasn’t only shocked, I was also puzzled and found it extremely unusual that cutlery could just disappear. I then googled “missing knives”, not expecting to find my knives again but just out of curiosity what might turn up. I found out that losing knives isn’t unusual at all, at least not in the English entries on google. Apparently, it’s a common household occurence.
Germans, however, don’t seem to lose their knives. When I googled “vermisste Messer” I only came up with missing children and police reports. I guess living in Germany for the past 50 years hasn’t ingrained a German sense of order in me.
As a wedding present, my sister gave me a beautiful set of cutlery — Copenhagen Obelisk, designed by Danish industrial designer and architect Erik Herlow. Alas, I didn’t appreciate design at the time. I had just embarked on a student marriage, had a baby and was living in a foreign country. Our life style was getting along on a shoestring. I didn’t pay much attention to tableware. And so it was that not all the pieces of the cutlery survived the vicissitudes of my life. Eventually, I packed the incomplete set away and purchased some simple knives, forks and spoons for everyday use.
Recently, I was looking through all those things stowed away someplace. Maybe it was the New Year that inspired me. When I came across the Copenhagen cutlery, I said I like this and I saw I could easily make six to eight complete table settings — except for the knives. There was only one. I didn’t only google missing knives, I also googled Denmark cutlery and I searched ebay. I was very excited when I discovered the knives I was looking for at an antique dealer’s in Oregon.
It would make my story too long if I were to describe my adventure picking them up at customs. But the knives are here! They were still packed in their original box, it smelled the way old books do and was crumbling. The knives themselves were used, but in excellent condition.
I treasure this set of cutlery more than I ever could have in earlier years. Thank you, Gwen, for the lovely wedding present.