Very Rare Louis XIV Combined Retractable Silver Spoon with Two Tine Fork, 1592.
Very rare French Louis XIV combined retractable silver spoon with two tine fork 1592, traveling utensil. We are proud to offer this exceptional and unusual museum piece to the market. This rare traveling utensil set consists of a combined spoon and retractable fork from the 16th Century. It was introduced by Catherine de Medici who brought them from Italy to France in 1553, upon her marriage to the future king, Henry II. Up to this time forks had only two tine. In the late 17th century forks became three pronged. A combined silver flatware set was a personal item, carried by wealthy owners when dining out. Once sacrilegious and controversial, fork and spoon are among the most important inventions in the history of Western culture. In 1633 King Charles I of England declared them, “decent to use” and so the fork, slowly but surely, gained acceptance at the table.
This beautiful solid silver piece has a figural finial and a small seal similar to the Apostle spoons. The back of the spoon is struck with a 16th century French silver hallmark. The inside is engraved with a wreath surrounded monogram and the date, “1592”. Only a few such combined spoon and fork are still in existence and usually are found in museums. An identical set in the New York Metropolitan Museum Collection has an extremely important provenance. A second example can be found in the Louvre in Paris.
Condition: Very good. Wear consistent with age and use.
Measurements: 5.75” l x 1” w x .75” d
Weight: approximate 2 oz