You might have seen a store with the $500 5-piece place setting. Or a store with $150 place setting. Relax, for a start you do not have to pay such a price yet. Start small, and slowly you can build up a very large collection of Wallace La Reine flatware entirely through eBay.
This article will note a few things you need to know regarding knives and forks in two different sizes. The examples and size used are specifically to the Wallace La Reine pattern.
Dinner Size vs. Luncheon or Place size
The main knives and forks in most patterns come in two different sizes: The dinner size and luncheon size which is also called “place” size. The dinner forks or knives are usually around a half an inch longer than the luncheon size. However, they are substantially heavier than that extra half an inch would indicate. Few patterns come in Continental size, but it is very rare and refers to the overall larger size and longer length of flatware that is popular in Europe. It is also marked by larger dinner forks, knives, and soup spoons than dinner size.
Continental teaspoons tend to be the same as American standard sizes. (For example, in the popular Wallace Grand Baroque pattern the knife sizes are – L: 9″, D: 9 3/4″, C: 10 5/8″.) Almost all the listings for collections and single place setting you see on eBay will be for luncheon size, not dinner size flatware. Dinner size is much rarer, and thus more expensive.
You must know the dimensions of the pieces in your pattern and be sure you are bidding on what you want; sometimes you may have to ask the seller for measurements. Some patterns (rarely) come in different weights and have an M (“Massive” – the heaviest), H (“Heavy”) and there are also lighter “Trade” and “Extra” weights. Of cause, the rarer it is, the more expensive it becomes.
In the next article, I will talk about French blade v modern blade knives and difference between a discontinued patterns and patterns that are still been manufactured.