Great Britain, Late 17th Century, Possibly Wales, I.P (Unidentified)


Rare Trefid Spoon & Two-Tine (Prong) Fork, Late 17c


Of sweetmeat or "traveling" size and with trefid terminals,
the shafts engraved to each side with undulating foliage descending from oval cartouches,
the spoon bowl with a reeded rattail sided by engraved foliage,
each verso ovallightly pricked EB over EY and 1694;
the two-tine fork with
maker's mark 'Gothic' I.P in a rectangle,
and the spoon unmarked.


Notes :

The fork itself (actually appearing from antiquity) was reintroduced to the British table

with Charles II's 1660 return from France.

Its most common 17th century use was for sweetmeats (small sticky fruits messy to handle with the fingers).

Whilst the squared base tines on this 2-tine fork resemble a known Charles II and several James II examples -

as well as the two-tined ending to sucket spoons,

the small two-tine all silver fork is somewhat unusual.

The majority of late 17th century had three tines,

with exception of steel pointed 2-tined forks used for "air-carving" of meat.

Additionally, pairs (spoon and fork) are also more seldom found than singles - even with the three tines.


Further comments to the rarity of the trefid forks appear in

Silver Flatware, English, Irish and Scottish, 1660-1980 (Ian Pickford), p.77 :

"These are very rare,

the fork only just coming into general use in England at the end of the 17th century.

When found, trefid forks usually have three prongs,

although occasionally two and sometimes four prong forks are found."


There are multiple I P marks in the late 17th century,

from Israel Pinckney (London) through the provincial areas.

The only mark found in our various books
(focusing on early spoons from London, East Anglia, and West Country)
using a Gothic I pellet P in a rectangle appears in Jackson's 2009 edition,

on page 517 as well as 529 - both the same mark on a trefid spoon -

as Wales and Unidentified, c1680.



Condition : Excellent overall; the fork tines tips slightly bent;
the spoon bowl with a small kink to the rim;

in our opinion, the engraving is contemporary with the making, running through the mark;

sevveral minor surface scratches


5" Long / .9 oz.






Please Inquire










A Rare Charles II Trefid 2-Prong Fork, 7.75", Thos. Mangy, York, 1677, sold Sotheby's Sale N10003, LOT 909.






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Rare Silver Trefid Traveling or Sweetmeat Spoon & 2-Tine Fork Late 17c, Poss. Wales, Unidentified 


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