A rare Bow Knife and Fork, circa 1753

Of small size, the pistol-grip hafts are moulded with shells, C-scrolls and swags of foliage. The design is embellished with painted scattered sprigs, including a striped yellow tulip and a blue convolvulus, and puce or dark brown scroll and lambrequin decoration heightened with gilding. The knife has a curved steel blade, and the fork has two tines on a steel baluster stem, fitted with silver ferrules.

Decoration of this type is rare, and the mushroom-coloured glaze indicates an early date of manufacture.

Provenance: An English Private Collection.

Condition: The fork is good, with no damage. The knife has a small u-shaped crack close to the ferrule. No other damage and no restoration. There is expected wear to the delicate enamel and gilt decoration from use. The steel fittings are good and sharp.

Dimensions: Length of knife 21.2 cm (including blade); Length of fork 17.5 cm (including tines)

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

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

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