ashmolean

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Two forks

Silver and soft-paste porcelain

Origin: France, Paris. The porcelain, probably Chantilly or Villeroy

Date: 1735-1736 and 1740-1741

19.1 cm length

Marks/Maker: Paris, charge mark (1732-8), warden's mark (1735-6), maker's mark CD a device between, possibly for Claude Dargent, discharge mark a foxes head; counter mark, a leaf? The other: Paris, charge mark (1738-44), discharge mark a foxes head

Presented by C. de Costa Andrade, 1968; WA1968.271

T. Schroder (2009), no. 572

Information derived from T. Schroder, British and Continental Gold and Silver in the Ashmolean (2009)

Fork: The fork first arrived in Italy from Byzantium in the eleventh century and was in regular use there by the fifteenth century. It was a while before the fork was accepted elsewhere in Europe. In 1518, Martin Luther amusingly quipped, ‘God preserve me from the little forks’! It finally came into common use in the seventeenth century, where it developed from the two-pronged type to one of three or four prongs, demonstrating its transition from carving or serving fork to one used for eating.

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