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Knife - Butter, Florentino Restaurant, Melbourne, circa 1988 Object Reg. No: SH 960141

This stainless steel butter knife is part of the furnishing and equipment used at Florentino Restaurant in Bourke Street Melbourne, during the time of Branco Tocigl's ownership from 1979-1989.

Florentino's opened during the 1920s under the ownership of Polish migrant Samuel Wynn and management of Rinaldo Massoni who had migrated from Italy in 1911. Originally Cafe Denat in Exhibition Street, the new owners moved it to Exhibition Street and changed the name to Cafe Florentino. Under Massoni's management (he purchased the lease from Wynn in 1929), the cafe flourished and expanded into the neighbouring Edments gift store in 1935. Massoni died suddenly in 1941 and the restaurant has had a series of owners ever since, but has always remained in its 1935 location.
A stainless steel knife with a curved end to the blade 121mm long. On one side the first inscription word in print with letters 2mm high runs a long the blade starting 42mm form the handle to its right the 2nd inscription word goes across the blade. On the other side of the blade is the 3rd inscription word. The handle has a raised pattern imprinted on both front and back and the sides are plain.
Statement Of Significance:
Florentino Restaurant represents one of the longest continuously operating restaurants in Melbourne, indeed it is recognised as a Melbourne 'institution.' Documenting its history enables not just the representation of a significant local business in the collection, but also the telling of broader stories about the significance of migrant community ties in establishing and maintaining businesses over time; and the role of migrant communities in participating in the cultural evolution of Melbourne through its food, wine and coffee cultures.
Acquisition Information:
Donation from Mr Branco Tocigl, 1996
Discipline: History
Dimensions: 212 mm (Height), 21 mm (Width), 8 mm (Length)

More information

Tagged with: food drink consumption, immigration, italian communities, italian immigration, cutlery, restaurants
Themes this item is part of: Florentino Restaurant, Melbourne, Italian Historical Society CO.AS.IT. Collection, Domestic & Community Life Collection
Primary Classification: CULTURAL IDENTITY
Secondary Classification: Café & Pub Culture
Tertiary Classification: cutlery
Inscriptions: RODD / STAINLESS / Florentino?
Place & Date Used: Melbourne, Victoria, Australia, by 1988
References: The following related photographs are held by the Italian Historical Society: P-01595; P-06544.

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