Three Georgian cutlery pieces, tortoiseshell & sterling silver,Newcastle 1760

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Set of three Georgian cutlery pieces, consisting of a steel 2-prong fork, a silver spoon, and a sterling silver fruit knife, the handles with panels of tortoiseshell framed by rifled strips between silver ferrule and scrolling shell cap.
Maker’s Mark ‘IR / IW’ for John Robertson II & John Walton,
Sterling hallmarks for Newcastle, 1795

20cm L, 2cm W
knife; 3 small holes in shell cap; spoon good; fork 1 small hole in shell cap

Peter Brown in ‘British Cutlery’ illustrates the identical form with same fork, steel blade (#83)- stating Sheffield as the place of manufacture and dating them circa 1760. The knife in this group has a definitive date of 1795. The 35 year discrepancy can be explained by careful examination of the silver knife blade; it is probably a ‘marriage’, spliced onto an old handle to make a complete item.
Curiously, the hallmarks are also ambiguous – IR/IW is well documented as being the partnership of John Robertson II & John Walton – but this mark was registered in 1811, 16 years after this piece was made….

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