Dominick & Haff Old "Louis XIV" Small Fork
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Measuring 5 5/8" long and weighing a relatively heavy 1.0 T. oz., this three tine fork is suggestive of an oyster or seafood fork, but has a different and singular tine configuration.
There are three tines, with the lower one exceptionally wide and having a beveled edge, while the other two are narrow and pointed. Two function possibilities are an escargot or a cheese fork.
The maker was Dominick and Haff and the pattern is that company's old version "Louis XIV" dating from 1888. It is double die struck, meaning the pattern appears on the reverse as well as obverse. This is a high relief leaf and scroll design with a rococo sensibility.
There is a script "MSB" monogram and the tine area retains a portion of an original gold wash surface.
This is in mint condition, retaining clear pattern detail free of polishing or other wear.
Marks are the D&H emblem, "Sterling," and the name of the retailer, Philadelphia's "J.E. Caldwell & Co."