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Spoon and fork: MAR.M.190-1912

Object information

Current Location: In storage


Silversmith: Unknown
Carver: Unknown




Shell and silver; bowl and handle carved from a cowrie shell mounted in silver and with silver tines

Shell and silver; the bowl and handle are carved from a cowrie shell (Cypraea spec.) the bowl from the curved back, the handle from the columella. Pinned to the bowl is an engraved shell-shaped mount, on the back of which are two long loops to hold the two tines of the silver fork. The silver stem of the fork is hinged with the folding mechanism held in place by a slide in the form of a winged cherub's mask. A broad silver ferrule attaches the stem to the handle. The ferrule is embossed with a border of scrolls and fleurs de lis.


History note: Not known before Charles Brinsley Marlay, London

Legal notes

C.B. Marlay Bequest

Measurements and weight

Length: 18 cm

Acquisition and important dates

Method of acquisition: Bequeathed (1912) by Marlay, Charles Brinsley


17th Century, Mid-Late
Circa 1650 - Circa 1700

People, subjects and objects depicted

Components of the work

Bowl composed of cowrie shell
Handle composed of cowrie shell
Ferrule composed of silver
Fork composed of silver
Tines, Stem

Techniques used in production

Carving : The bowl and handle were carved. The mount was engraved and the loops were soldered on its back before it was pinned to the bowl The tines of the fork and the silver stem were forged and fitted with a hinge. The decoration on the ferrule was probably stamped. It was soldered down the back and to the stem before being glued to the handle.

References and bibliographic entries

Identification numbers

Accession number: MAR.M.190-1912
Primary reference Number: 166890
Stable URI

Audit data

Created: Saturday 6 August 2011 Updated: Wednesday 6 December 2017 Last processed: Friday 8 December 2023

Associated departments & institutions

Owner or interested party: The Fitzwilliam Museum
Associated department: Applied Arts

Citation for print

This record can be cited in the Harvard Bibliographic style using the text below:

The Fitzwilliam Museum (2024) "Spoon and fork" Web page available at: Accessed: 2024-07-22 09:18:24

Citation for Wikipedia

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{{cite web|url= |title=Spoon and fork |author=The Fitzwilliam Museum|accessdate=2024-07-22 09:18:24|publisher=The University of Cambridge}}

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