Reed & Barton "La Marquise" Solid Sterling Toast Fork
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That such a mundane item as toast would have a server of the elegance and scale of this 7 1/4" long, nearly 1.7 T. oz., all silver, fork is testament to the Victorian inclination to surround all aspects of a meal with a sense of formality and presentation.
The pattern is "La Marquise" by Reed & Barton. Patented in 1895, it is a scroll and bead design, tending toward the rococo in manner. There is a script "VP" monogram on the handle.
The serving end is the real story with toast forks and this example has all the flourishes the form exhibits at its best. There are three slender tines, the outer two of which are turned inward while all three point slightly upward. The shoulders are decorated with a lattice-like, reticulated pattern.
It is in superb condition. There is no polishing wear and the finish is lustrous. The tines are free of bends or nicks.
Marks are the Reed & Barton emblem, "Sterling," and the name of the retailer, Boston's "Bigelow, Kennard & Co."