19th Century Rowland Ward Lobster Dinner Service
Date: 19th Century
Dimensions: H 2,5cm W 31cm D 5cm
A rare exhibition set of silver plated fish cutlery for five, plus servers, with real lobster claw handles.
This Victorian dinner service or cutlery, made from bits of lobster and Creswick plate silver, is a one-off and was created especially by Rowland Ward for the Fisheries Exhibition held in London in 1883. Later the King (King Edward VII 1901-1910) himself apparently admired this extraordinary assemblage when visiting Mr Ward in his establishment at Piccadilly 166.
This dinner service is also illustrated in Ward's autobiography, the illustration was annotated by Rowland Ward, noting that the service was made from real lobsters.
After the exhibition porcelain copies were made and were said to be quite popular.
James Rowland Ward (1848–1912) was a British taxidermist and founder of the firm Rowland Ward Limited of Piccadilly, London. The company specialized in and was renowned for its taxidermy work on birds and big-game trophies, but it did other types of work as well.
More than any other taxidermist of his age, Rowland Ward became known for making items from skins, horns, and skulls that could be used in the home, either for practical purposes or as decorations. They became known as Wardian furniture, items that would seem very odd in the 21st century but were highly fashionable and desirable in Victorian and Edwardian England.
Measurements are in length x width x height
Measurements of the small forks: 21cm x 3cm x 2cm (8.3 x 1.2 x 0.8 inches)
Measurements of the small knifes: 23cm x 3cm x 2cm (9.1 x 1.2 x 0.8 inches)
Measurements of the big fork: 25cm x 5cm x 2.5cm (9.8 x 1.9 x 1 inches)
Measurements of the big knife: 31cm x 5cm x 2.5cm (12.2 x 1.9 x 1 inches)
Due to its age, this very rare and old set has a few little condition extra's;
There is overall paint loss on the lobster parts; the hilts probably used to be painted lobster red.
The big fork misses a tip at the lobster end.
Three knifes miss very smal tips at the lobster end.
One fork tip has been restored somewhere in the last century (last two pictures show back and front).
Nonetheless what a stunning collectors item or curiosity cabinet addition this would make, don't you think.
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