An Ardus (Montauban) Knife and Fork, circa 1745

The faience hafts of this knife and fork are painted in blue with Berainesque ornaments in the style of Saint-Cloud porcelain. The fork is fitted with a baluster hexagonal stem and two tines. The ferrules are of unmarked silver. 

Provenance: An English Private Collection.

The Ingres Museum in Montauban, France, holds a set of Ardus faience decorated in similar manner.

Established on the banks of the Aveyron in 1737 by Baron François Duval, the factory achieved the title ‘Manufacture Royale’ in 1749. Denis Molinié was one of the early decorators, having acquired his skill at Samadet, Moustiers and Nevers. 

Condition: A small section has been out and re-stuck within the knife haft. No other damage. The decoration is pleasing and the silver fittings are all good. 

Dimensions: Length of knife 22 cm (including blade); Length of fork 19.5 cm (including tines)

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

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

French Porcelain of the Eighteenth Century, Christopher Maxwell (V&A Publishing, 2009).