I found this vintage bronzeware set while helping my parents, Antiquips, of No Egrets Antiques, with their latest estate sale. (Details and photos of this latest sale can be found on their Facebook page as well as here.) I became rather fascinated with this set of vintage flatware!
It was obtained by a man in the air force about 1961 or so, when he was stationed in Thailand (officially known as “Siam” until 1939) — and the set clearly remained a prized possession (as you’ll see below).
These are some of the original brochures from the bronzeware purchase:
Included with the set were some other papers that explained more about the flatware:
What is Bronzeware?
Bronzeware is a unique tableware handmade by skilled craftsmen in Thailand, perhaps better known as Siam. Cast individually from glowing red molten bronze, each piece is then ground to the proper shape and then polished to a mirror finish by these patient craftsmen. The rosewood handles are carefully shaped with the simplest of tools, and joined with care to the bronze stem.
What is Rosewood?
Rosewood is a brownish-red hardwood native to the steaming tropical jungles of Southeast Asia, so called because the fragrance of roses permeates the air when the tree is hewn to the ground. Naturally water resistant because of the resinous content of the fibers, rosewood is also exceptionally hard to nick or dent. In addition to these qualities rosewood is perhaps one of the world’s most beautifully grained woods and has long been used in the finest and most expensive furniture and musical instruments.
As of right now, this vintage flatware set is available in a very fine rosewood cabinet, made specifically for holding flatware. It has dragons carved onto the drawers and matches not only a large china hutch or breakfront but a dining room table and chairs.
But the vintage bronzewear originally came in a wooden box — with an eye-blazing fuschia felt liner, just like this one (and other sets found at eBay). We have the case too, but it looks much nicer in the cabinet!
This set of Bronzeware, like others often sold as bronze or bronze alloy pieces, was most likely made of a nickel-bronze alloy. To the best of my knowledge, and research, bronzewear is safe to eat off of. Caring for bronzewear is similar to that of silver plate. As a general rule, I never advise using the dishwasher. Most especially for antique and vintage pieces. And with the rosewood handles, I wouldn’t dare do anything else!
The following is some more of the original literature that accompanied the flatware purchase, or was obtained during the same period. I thought it was proper to include it here.
43 thoughts on “Vintage Bronzeware Flatware From Thailand”
Hi I was wondering how much a cutlery chest is as I just bought one with no cutlery unfortunately . A reply would be greatly appreciated. Many thanks Angie.
Angie, prices on chests will vary widely, based on what it is made of, age, condition, etc.
I have a set of (100 pc) in origional case, Tommy’s Gems Bronzeware, from Thai silk, Antiques 229 Fueng Nakorn, Sikuk Phayasri, Bangkok, Thailand. I have had this set my self for 50 years my Aunt and Uncle were in the Airforce and they brought it home back in late 50’s early 60’s. Can you tell me how much its worth ???
Don, at Inherited Values we won’t appraise or give you a value for your antiques and collectibles (it’s against our business values). We do, however, recommend using PriceMiner. You can learn more about appraisals here.
Hello, I recently purchased a 156 piece flatware set from an antique shop. It’s from “Patumvan Jewelry” in Bangkok, Thailand. I don’t know if it’s bronze or brass 🙂 do you happen to know without looking at it?
Sherri, I can’t say without looking at it, but brass is well, quite brassy or yellow in color… Also brass can negatively react with acids, so be careful cleaning it if you intend to eat with the set.
Can anyone help me. I purchased a 144 set of star house vintage Thailand flatware in the 60’s on my honeymoon. Unfortunately we had a fire and lost our house. I was able to save the cutlery but the box was destroyed. Where can I get a new box to put the cutlery in. Is the original company still in business? I have a contact in Bangkok if you have any answers?
Pam, sorry to hear of your losses.
I would try eBay or Etsy as the boxes do show up. Otherwise, maybe your contact in Bangkok can find out for you about any such business?
I would like to ask where can I buy pieces of it I need 6 piece of dinner fork and 6 pieces of cake fork and how much is the cost .
You can click the links in the article to find sellers, Norma. 🙂
James Jewelers Bangkok shiva edition bronzewhere in teakwood case 12 setting …all pieces still in original plastic…this rare?
i HAVE A SET OF BRASS/BRONZEWARE CUTLERY FROM Thailand. CLEANING THE SET, I NOTICED SOME BLACK SPOTS IS IT SAFE TO USE? yOUR COMMENTS WOULD BE APPRECIATED.
Kelly, these sets are not super rare (though “rare” is a relative word). Many men in the armed services purchased such sets.
I have need of the bronzeware box only. I purchased my set in Bangkok, Thailand in 1966. The box was dropped and broke, eyond repair. Mine is a 144piece set. Are you willing to sell box only? Let me know.
We don’t have any for sale… You can check sites like eBay & Etsy, Gary. Good luck!
I have a beautiful set in the original box complete. And I have no use for it .
Where can I go to sell it it just sits in a closet.
My mother-in-law passed away about six months ago and in her belongings was a box just like the one pictured above that had approximately 140 some odd pieces of gold and silver flatware, all pieces accounted for. It has the same fliers and paperwork as the one above. They don’t look as if they’ve ever been used. The box is dated 1946 and labeled “Starhouse of Thailand”. Unsure of the value of it and have taken to have it appraised but they’ve never seen one like it. Any ideas?
I am looking for the Cugar bowl and Creamer Jug for the James Quality Jewelers from Bangkok Thailand. My uncle purchased it during WWII and it is a part of a rosewood and bronze ware set. Been searching for the last two parts of this set on e bay and google. Any suggestions? and it is listed as a Cugar Bowl not sugar bowl! lol
Recently acquired a complete set of James Bronze Ware from Thailand. Seems to be Early 60’s (guessing). Some pieces are still in the plastic wrapper. Wooden box, not one nick or scratch on any piece or the box. The flatware doesn’t look used but being out of the wrapper might indicate to me that some had been. I also have the original tri-fold pamplets accompanying the flatware/bronze ware. It was very interesting to read about how each piece was hand-handled and the history behind the bronze ware. Seems James was also a “quality jeweler” also. There are additional pieces one might acquire to complete a set of this manufacturer and wouldn’t I be happy to have all the pieces? Yes I would. For now, I have this set for sale as I have no family and don’t entertain. Thinking it should go to someone who would appreciate it as much as I do. One time I had some desert forks and spreading utensils but they are long gone and I cannot say whence they went. I used them with a cranberry dish set and the contrast was absolutely gorgeous. I’ve since given my daughter the cranberry and green glass collections I had in the 50’s (maybe earlier) they came one at a time in oatmeal cartons back in that day (the green, not the red).
I have inherited a 144 piece set and the two center trays are missing. Any idea where I might be able to find this obnoxious pink center trays?
I have a 51pc set my friend found at a goodwill store. It however did not come with any butter knives. I found that interesting. Where should I shop to try to find some that match or are comparable?
Sherri, we do offer “picking services” if you are still searching…
Folks, please read the comments for resources — I think I’ve mentioned everything, from “where to buy” and “how I can help”…
I have an incomplete set of nickel bronze flatware by Winsome that I’m willing to part with or sell pieces of–the box isn’t in great shape–top bar that holds securely has come loose.
The upper left corner ribbon with Winsome has the main ofc listed as Seattle, WA with a zip code–so this set isn’t as old as some of yours discussed here. The ribbon does say factory was in Bankok.
I just got a complete set of the james with the pink case I want to sell the case
That is the lining is pink. The case is big and wooden..almost like a heavy suitcase..it has all the trays and is in good shape
My friend found what I think is a tip to one of these bronze star of siam flatware pieces. We had no idea what it was at first so we tested it to see if it was gold and the test appeared to come out positive, although, after seeing this I’m becoming a little doubtful. The design is very similar, but not exact to one I found. Perhaps there have just been several different sets made and I just haven’t come across the EXACT one with the same design. Any ideas how many different versions of the tip design they’ve made? Is it possible to identify which era it came from? Is there someone who can tell me about any higher end or harder to find sets, if any?
Deanna, thank you very much for this post! As I’m sure has occurred to many, I found my inherited box while clearing through my parents’ belongings… But without any papers or markings had very little to go on as to where or when they came. My father was stationed in Thailand and so now I realize this small box with the pink liner was a loving gift to my mother.
Now the set will be used and cherished.
We have a set Bronze Ware, from Thailand. 144 pieces all in perfect shape. Box has been damaged, but usable. Any one you KNOW THAT MIGHT BE INTERESTED. Would love to sell it to someone who would appreciate it.
Please read the entire article & all comments for information on value, availability, research, etc. Thanks!
I just bought an almost complete set,(service for 12), of this flatware. I see your posts on how the clean the metal, but not the wood. Do I use the same cleaning agent for both? I was thinking of using the salt/vinegar/flour method.
Also, it only came with two tray inserts to hold the flatware. If anyone has an full empty case for the entire set in decent condition, and perhaps the missing pieces, (I can go more into specifics later), I’d like to see about purchasing them. I keep my eyes out on eBay, but thought this may be a good route for that as well.
Dear James Fields,
I am interested in your perfect 144 piece set of Bronze Ware from Thailand. Is it still available?
I have a 144 complete set of Bronzeware from Thailand my father bought while in the service. I am interested in selling it if someone is interested. It has the original Box and felt.
I have a complete set of bronze ware, never used, 144 pieces, each one still in its plastic sleeve. Brought from Thailand in the late 1960s. In original case. Will sell it to you for the price of shipping
To Pat White:
I would like to buy the 144 piece set you mention. How can I reach you? You can find me in Albuquerque, New Mexico on Facebook.
You can contact me by email at email@example.com. I am in Detroit , Mich. I am not on Facebook. Thanks for writing.
Please contact me via email at firstname.lastname@example.org. I am in Detroit, Michigan. I’m not on Facebook. Thanks for writing.
I have a bar set Ben Jewelry Udorn Air Force Thailand
Hello, I have a bronze flatware serving set of ~110 pieces with mother of pearl trim on the handles within a teak box with no mfg markings other than Thailand. Would you know the mfg?
Hi i have a set of 144 piece if anyone is interested in an set and the box is mint
I have a 144 piece set, one damaged spoon and folk. Never used, pictures if needed. Pink velvet lining in case.
I would like to sell.
I have a 144 pc set from Johny’s Gems with the original box. However, I actually only have a 124 pc set because I’m missing many pieces. Also, the box is not in good shape at all. Would it be better to sell this as a whole set with missing pieces or sell things individually (i.e. “24pc dinner set—desssert set, etc.) and break the whole set up?
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