Rare and complete set of Saint-Cloud soft paste porcelain knife and fork hafts, c.1750, mounted by Joseph Gibbs, cutler, London, the silver ferrules, steel blades and case, c.1750-55

 

The white Saint-Cloud pistol grip handles are moulded with scrolls, a flower head, and a strung coin motif probably derived from the piastres of French silverware.

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) case, lined with red velvet and gold braid, is magical. Each handle is fitted with a silver ferrule and the steel blades are stamped GIBBS, for Joseph Gibbs, cutler, at the Half Moon & Star in New Bond Street. The small size suggests that they were intended for use with game.

Gibbs' trade bill refers to 'fish skin cases' and includes an illustration of a pair (see below).

Condition: Please email for a detailed condition report, including more than fifty images of the knives, forks and case.

Dimensions: Length of knife (including blade) approximately 20 cm; Length of fork (including tines) approximately 17 cm; Height of case (when closed) 24.7 cm

Discovering the Secrets of Soft-Paste Porcelain at the Saint-Cloud Manufactory, c.1690-1766, Bertrand Rondot, Ed. (BGC / Yale, 1999).

A Review of Bow & Worcester Knife & Fork Hafts, Tony Stevenson (ECC Transactions, vol. 13, no. 3, 1989).

French Porcelain: A Catalogue of the British Museum Collection, Aileen Dawson (British Museum Press, 2000).

 

     
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