What Was the Use of This Piece of French Flatware?

What was this used for? - PHOTO REQUIRED
dognose
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What Was the Use of This Piece of French Flatware?

Postby dognose » Fri Oct 11, 2019 11:05 am

Hi,

I've had some images sent to me of a unusual (to me) item:

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

Can anyone suggest the purpose of this piece? It would appear to fish related, perhaps for filleting at the table?

Also, any thoughts on the maker would be appreciated, the marks are tiny and these were the best images that could be obtained. It's 'H & C', but the symbols are not clear, but maybe those of Hauvy Fils & Crampon of Paris?

All thoughts very welcome.

Trev.

dragonflywink
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Re: What Was the Use of This Piece of French Flatware?

Postby dragonflywink » Fri Oct 11, 2019 5:06 pm

Looks like a melon fork to me...

~Cheryl

AG2012
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Re: What Was the Use of This Piece of French Flatware?

Postby AG2012 » Fri Oct 11, 2019 5:21 pm

Probably oyster fork.Short and curved tines help detach the oyster from the shell.
Two-pronged fork is for shellfish, snails and hors-d'oeuvre.
Regards

dragonflywink
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Re: What Was the Use of This Piece of French Flatware?

Postby dragonflywink » Fri Oct 11, 2019 5:42 pm

Try an internet search for "fourchettes à melon argent" and see what turns up - can probably dig up some catalog images when I have time...

~Cheryl

dognose
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Re: What Was the Use of This Piece of French Flatware?

Postby dognose » Fri Oct 11, 2019 5:57 pm

Many thanks both of you for your thoughts. Following Cheryl's suggestion and Goggling that, it does indeed appear to be the intended use (though I think it would work equally well with oysters!).

Trev.

AG2012
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Re: What Was the Use of This Piece of French Flatware?

Postby AG2012 » Sat Oct 12, 2019 3:59 am

Difficult to tell H&C. or H & Cie
If there is a rosebud above and a star below, with H & Cie, it could be Henin, (& Cie), Paris.
H&C. is for Hauvy fils & Crampon
Regards

JayT
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Re: What Was the Use of This Piece of French Flatware?

Postby JayT » Sun Oct 13, 2019 6:46 pm

Definitely a melon fork, in an ever-popular Louis XV-type pattern. Melon forks measure about 15-21 cm long. Although they have 3 tines, oyster forks are shorter, measuring 12-15 cm.

David Allan illustrates a number of melon fork models.

Hénin also gets my vote as the maker.

dognose
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Re: What Was the Use of This Piece of French Flatware?

Postby dognose » Mon Oct 14, 2019 3:05 am

Hi AG2012 and JayT,

Thanks to both of you for the additional information. I'll pass the details along to the owner.

Trev.


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