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.
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Culture:possibly British, Norfolk
Medium:Silver, exotic hardwood
Dimensions:Length: 34 1/2 in. (87.6 cm)
Credit Line:Gift of Irwin Untermyer, 1968
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)
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Highlights of the Untermyer Collection of English and Continental Decorative Arts," September 29, 1977–May 21, 1978.
San Francisco. Legion of Honor, Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco. "English Silver from the Untermyer Collection," June 28, 1979–August 20, 1979.
Kansas City. Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art. "English Silver from the Untermyer Collection," September 1979–November 1979.
Washington, D.C. The Folger Shakespeare Library. "Elizabethan Households," February 13, 1995–May 20, 1995.
Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum, Smithsonian Institution. "Feeding Desire: Tools for the Table, 1500–2005," May 5, 2006–October 29, 2006.
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