A Mennecy-Villeroy Knife, circa 1740

Dating from the early duc de Villeroy period of Mennecy, the cannon-shaped haft is decorated with chinoiserie landscape scenes in a distinctive Kakiemon palette of yellow, blue, red, and turquoise. Fitted with a silver ferrule and cap, and a steel blade of French type stamped MOULIN A ANNONAY.

The city of Annonay is situated in the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes region of southeast-central France. It was the location of the first public official flight of a hot air balloon, when the Montgolfier brothers launched their invention above the Place des Cordeliers on 4 June 1783.

Provenance: The Darblay Collection, Paris; an English Private Collection.

Condition: A faint crack and possibly a small area of restoration close to the ferrule. The blade and ferrule are good.

Dimensions: Length 25.5 cm (including blade)

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).

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