The finial cast as an armless female figure above the face of a bearded man,
the beard becoming the square tapering horizontally-ribbed shaft,
the lower shaft folding to a three-tine fork headed by a further man's mask and secured by a movable slide;
the removable bowl with five silver slots for the fork tines,
bearing a family crest of a heron mounted under a coronet with twelve balls;
Fork : b. within a shield,
a 19th century sword mark, Minerva (M for Schoonhoven) mark,
date letter D (Gothic) for 1888,
and small illegible rectangular mark (perhaps "small silver) on the shaft side
Bowl : small illegible rectangular mark,
lion for 833 silver, and mark of Cornelius Rietveld (R over 133)
Note : A similar folding fork with spoon (minus the bowl arms) by Bernardus Hendriks Eerdmans Bolsward,
b. 1756; d. Bolsward, February 4, 1838 was sold by this gallery a few years ago.
Ref : See British Cutlery, Illustrated History of Design, Evolution & Use, Peter Brown, pp. 20-1,
and p. 93 for a related folding spoon, Dutch or Italian, c1620.
In the 17th century, a person of means would have traveling eating utensils of silver.
Such a utensil could also have a fork attached to the back of a spoon, and/or a toothpick emerging from the finial.
In the 19th century, there was a revivalof interest in this "novel" early type of utensil.
Condition : Excellent with minor wear; fork receptacles on bowl verso showing silver solder marks
5" long / 1.5 oz.