Knife haft, Capodimonte, soft paste porcelain, c.1755-59


The haft of this rare knife is moulded with flowers picked out in enamels above a moulded acanthus border. The end of the haft is naturalistically modelled and delicately enamelled as a scallop shell. Fitted with a gilt metal ferrule and a steel blade.

In 1743, the Bourbon King Charles founded the Real Fabbrica di Capodimonte in the grounds of the Palace of Capodimonte, Naples. Porcelain production continued in Naples until 1759, when King Charles inherited the Spanish throne and moved the entire operation to Madrid. His wife, Queen Maria Amalia of Saxony, was the granddaughter of Augustus II the Strong, Elector of Saxony, founder of the Meissen porcelain factory, and her dowry is said to have included 17 Meissen table services.

Provenance: Christie’s, Geneva, 13 November 1989, lot 62; The Collection of Giovanni and Gabriella Barilla; an English Private Collection.

Condition: The enamel and gilt decoration is good, with only light wear from use in places. There are tiny chips around the base of the haft, next to the ferrule. No other damage and no restoration.

Dimensions: Length 23 cm (including blade)

Cutlery: From Gothic to Art Deco - The J. Hollander Collection, Jan van Trigt (Petraco-Pandora NV, 1999).


Click on thumbnail above to see larger image