An enamel Knife and Fork, English, circa 1770-80

Of pistol grip shape, the white enamelled hafts are finely painted with bouquets of flowers, and scattered sprigs and sprays. Identifiable flowers include yellow and pink roses, dianthus, and honeysuckle. The knife is fitted with a steel scimitar blade, the fork with two tines on a steel baulster stem. Silver scalloped ferrules. The blade is stamped I GUEST.

This style of decoration bares comparison with that found on enamel boxes and other small wares produced in Birmingham and South Staffordshire during the last quarter of the 18th century.

Provenance: An English Private Collection.

Condition: No damage or restoration, only minor surface scratches and a little light wear to the enamel decoration. The fittings are all good.

Dimensions: Length of knife 28.2 cm (including blade); Length of fork 21.4 cm (including tines) 

English Painted Enamels, Therle and Bernard Hughes (Country Life, 1951).

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