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, marked with a 19th century Dutch duty
mark for .934 -.833 silver, and 5 further marks, including Rb. (bowl and
tines), BE and three others (rubbed)
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. At this time, 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.
Condition : Excellent; some minor expected
scratches from the fork insertion on the bowl
5" long / 1.5 oz.
Marks for Bernardus
Hendriks Eerdmans. Worked at Bolsward. Born Bolsward, 1756; died Bolsward, February 4, 1838.
The duty mark was introduced in 1814.