Boxed set of twelve duc de Villeroy, Mennecy Knives, painted with chinoiserie figures and flowers, soft paste porcelain, c.1740
Each of the quatrelobe moulded tapering hafts is painted with chinoiserie figures and flowers. On one side a bareheaded figure clothed in blue stands on a plinth holding a parasol. The reverse is painted with the same figure clothed this time in yellow. Above each figure is an arrangement of flowers. The sides of the haft are painted with trailing exotic flowers. The twelfth knife is painted in much the same way, only the figure is replaced by the bust of a figure on a plinth, and the trailing flowers on the side issue from a cornucopia, instead of the ground. Fitted with silver ferrules and caps, the steel blades stamped with cutlers' marks.
The box sits on four brass stud feet, the wooden carcass covered with leather stamped with fleurs-de-lys.
Provenance: An English Private Collection.
Please email for a detailed condition report.
Dimensions: Knife length (including blade) 25 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).
French Porcelain of the Eighteenth Century, Christopher Maxwell (V&A Publishing, 2009).
Ref. The Musée des Arts Décoratifs, Paris, has twelve similar Mennecy knives contained in a fitted box of precisely this type, and with the same green lining.
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