A Chelsea Knife, circa 1750-52

This white Chelsea knife is moulded with a flowering tea plant spray emerging from a rococo shell. The scroll form of this shell forms an attenuated pistol grip. Moulded tea plant decoration occurs on Chelsea porcelain from the Triangle period (1743-49), and this knife shows the natural development of the pattern into the Raised Anchor period. The blade, stamped with unidentified cutler’s marks (J?P L L) is held in place with a scalloped ferrule.

Provenance: An English Private Collection.

Condition: No damage or restoration, and the moulding is crisp.

Dimensions: Length 21.9 cm (including blade)

A Review of Chelsea, Chelsea, Derby and Derby Knife and Fork Hafts, Tony Stevenson (ECC Transactions, vol. 14, no. 1, 1990).

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