Rare and complete set of Saint-Cloud soft paste porcelain knife and fork hafts, c.1740
The pistol-grip hafts are painted in underglaze blue with Renaissance-inspired lambrequin designs loosely derived from the broderie ornaments of the designer Jean Berain (1640-1711) and his followers. The hafts are fitted with a silver ferrule and cap, the knives having scimitar steel blades, and the forks two tines on a steel baluster stem.
It is simply a joy to have a complete set of twenty-four porcelain handled knives and forks but to have them housed in the original shagreen (fish skin, probably shark) case, lined with red velvet and gold braid, is magical. Having the original key and working lock is a rare blessing.
Provenance: An English Private Collection.
Contemporary records refer to 'fish skin cases', such as the pair illustrated on the trade card of the London cutler, Joseph Gibbs (see below).
Please email for a detailed condition report and additional images.
Dimensions: Length of knife (including blade) approximately 23 cm; Length of fork (including tines) approximately 17 cm; Height of case (when closed) 26.5 cm
Discovering the Secrets of Soft-Paste Porcelain at the Saint-Cloud Manufactory, c.1690-1766, Bertrand Rondot, Ed. (BGC / Yale, 1999).
French Porcelain: A Catalogue of the British Museum Collection, Aileen Dawson (British Museum Press, 2000).
Cutlery: From Gothic to Art Deco - The J. Hollander Collection, Jan van Trigt (Petraco-Pandora NV, 1999).
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