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Dinner Fork

Decorative Arts

On View: Luce Visible Storage and Study Center, 5th Floor
MEDIUM Silver plate
DATES ca. 1869
DIMENSIONS 7 1/2 x 1 1/16 x 1/2 in. (19.1 x 2.7 x 1.3 cm)
MARKINGS Stamped on back: "PAT.APPL'D FOR" and "REED & BARTON 4 " and "PAT'D MAR 30, 1869".
SIGNATURE no signature
INSCRIPTIONS no inscriptions
COLLECTIONS Decorative Arts
MUSEUM LOCATION This item is on view in Luce Visible Storage and Study Center, 5th Floor
CREDIT LINE Gift of Robert Tuggle
CATALOGUE DESCRIPTION Dinner fork with four tines; the two inner tines are straight and slightly narrower than the external tines. The decoration of the handle begins just high of center with semi-circular volutes; from this point the handle flattens and becomes wider gradually, curving outward and reaching widest point, then gradually tapers. Handle has arched ears and a pointed top. Top projection is decorated with nine radiating lines (stems) with drop-shape flowers. Top is engraved with the letters "AT" in script, a pyramid-shaped reserve, framed with a raised line border. Borders begin with inward-curved volutes, which terminate at base of pyramid incurved volutes. In bottom of each corner is a molded design, consisting of an exotic stylized plant with nine drop-shaped petals, each attached to down-curved lines (stems.) Below this, in center do downward-bent stems join a fan design consisting of drop-shaped petals, each. Below this is a rectangular division framed by a raised line border within which is a crosshatched pattern with each point of intersection marked by a dot motif. Below this is a stylized flower with a pendent stem; the top is pointed at center and flanked by a down-curved volute on either side. A raised line border frames this semi-circular projection of stem with incurved volutes at top; at bottom, the borders arch out, join to bottom to form a point. Below this is a stylized anthemion motif. On the reverse, beginning at top, are nine radiating leaves attached to bent lines (stems). A line border with incurved terminals frames the triangular-shaped reserve. Neck of handle is framed with a line border without curved scrolled terminals (at top) and the base is crossed with a C-scroll on either side. This final decorative element consists of a double border C-scroll, one on either side, joining below to form a V formation. Orient Pattern. Condition: Fair; there are several scratches on the fork tines; silver-plate has broken down near the tine tops. The overall surface has been attacked by a yellow discoloration.
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