Two Chelsea Forks, circa 1750-55

Of large pistol-grip shape, the hafts are moulded with flowering prunus branches, in the manner of the blanc de chine porcelains of Dehua. Inspired by French porcelain, prunus moulding of this type tends to date to the Raised Anchor period at Chelsea. The forks have four tines on a silver baluster stem and bear the post-1838 French hallmarks of the head of Minerva and the number 1, denoting silver fineness of .950. Scalloped silver ferrules.

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

Condition: No damage or restoration to the porcelain, just some kiln speckling to the glaze and minor flaws from manufacture.

Dimensions: Length 20.9 cm (including tines)

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).