RARE SET OF THREE IRISH QUEEN ANNE
BRITANNIA SILVER DOGNOSE 3-TINE TABLE FORKS
Maker’s marks rubbed; 1704 mark barely visible on two
Of heavy gauge silver, each with three tines and a dog-nose (wavy end) terminal; good lengths to the tines;
the marks worn from polishing
At the very end of the 17th and beginning of the 18th century, silver dinner forks with three tines were introduced
- the three tines representing the thumb and two first fingers, then proper for transporting solid foods to the mouth. Although forks had existed since biblical times, they were quite slow to catch on in England. The earlier British clergy contended that God gave people fingers for eating, and declared forks to be diabolical (forks sometimes then referred to as "pitchforks", having the same Latin root furca).
The "sherbet course" was introduced in the early 1700's, not to clear the palette, as commonly thought,
but for the washing of the single fork for the next course.
Queen Anne dognose forks are quite rare and therefore more suitable for the collector than for table use.
However, there is no meal that will not be enhanced by dining from an incredible piece of history.
Hanoverian 3-tine forks were also used in conjunction with dognose spoons and forks.
They are still a bit more accessible - but becoming less so.
Condition : expected wear to the tines of Britannia silver, good patination with fine surface scratches,
the shoulder of one fork with a bit more scratching; marks very worn; Irish and date mark barely visible;
maker's marks polished away
7.75" / 7.9 oz.
Also See :
(4 + 2), Allen, Middleton, Crest of Mainwaring
|Rare Continental Silver-Gilt Sweetmeat Fork, marked to terminal, c1700|
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