A Bow Knife and Fork, circa 1755

Of large pistol grip and painted in underglaze blue with hatched foliage, stylised strapwork and lambrequins. The upper parts are decorated with bell flowers suspended from a cell-pattern border beside the scalloped silver ferrules. Fitted with a steel two-pronged fork on a baluster stem, and a scimitar blade.

The decoration, with its Renaissance-inspired lambrequin designs loosely derived from the broderie ornaments of the designer Jean Berain (1640-1711) and his followers, is very much in the manner of early Saint-Cloud porcelain.

Provenance: An English Private Collection.

Condition: No damage or restoration. The hafts are well painted and there is only a little blurring in places, from manufacture. The cobalt blue of the knife haft fired ever so slightly darker than that of the fork haft, but this is not really noticeable at all. The ferrules have one or two few dimples. The steel fittings are good and sharp.

Dimensions: Length of knife 27 cm (including blade); Length of fork 23.2 cm (including tines)

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

Bow Porcelain: The Collection formed by Geoffrey Freeman, A. Gabszewicz & G. Freeman (Lund Humphries, 1982).

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