One of only two known 16th-century toasting forks, this was used to toast apples, cheese, or "puddings" in front of a fire. The inlaid initials, outline of a railing, and a tun (a type of band) create a rebus that may refer to a member of the Railton family of Norfolk.
Inscription: Engraved end of opposite mount: G.R. with rebus
Engraved between tines: 1561
George Railton ; A. G. Paterson (until 1966; sale, Christie's, London, January 27, 1966, lot no. 148; sold for £1,350 to S. J. Phillips); [ S. J. Phillips Ltd. ,1966; sold on April 12, 1966 to Irwin Untermyer ] ; Irwin Untermyer (1966–68; to MMA)
Artist: James Cox (British, ca. 1723–1800)Date: 1766Medium: Case: gold with diamonds and paste jewels set in silver, pearls; Dial: while enamel; Movement: partly gilded brass and steel, wheel balance and cock of silver set with paste jewelsAccession: 1982.60.137On view in:Gallery 540