Or are you looking for Search the Archives?

Please complete the form to email this item.


  • Place of origin:

    London (made)

  • Date:

    1756 (made)
    ca.1850 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Bow Porcelain Factory (maker)
    Stammers (cutlers)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Soft paste porcelain, painted enamel, silver, steel

  • Credit Line:

    Lt. Col. G. B. Croft-Lyons Bequest

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    Metalware, Room 116, The Belinda Gentle Gallery, case DR7 []

Ebony, ivory, fish skin, tortoiseshell, amber, bone, horn and shell were all popular for decorating cutlery. Around 1730 ceramic handles were introduced to Europe from China. Although cutlers were required by their guilds to be able to make a complete knife, handles of carved ivory, silver, bronze and glass were usually imported or made by specialist craftsmen.

Porcelain from China was so popular that European factories tried to imitate it. They could not immediately replicate the recipe for true Chinese porcelain (hard-paste), but devised substitutes known as 'soft-pastes'. Soft-paste factories at Bow and Chelsea produced ceramic knife handles in various patterns and styles from about 1750.

Physical description

One of a set of six knives with a pistol-shaped handle made of soft-paste porcelain with painted enamel decoration and a silver ferrule.

Place of Origin

London (made)


1756 (made)
ca.1850 (made)


Bow Porcelain Factory (maker)
Stammers (cutlers)

Materials and Techniques

Soft paste porcelain, painted enamel, silver, steel

Marks and inscriptions

Marked on the blade


Length: 27.1 cm, Width: 4.0 cm maximum

Descriptive line

Knife with porcelain handle, London, ca.1756 (blade ca.1850).

Production Note

Handle made 1756 by Bow Porcelain Factory, blade made by Stammers ca.1850


Porcelain; Enamel paint; Silver; Steel


Eating; Metalwork; Tableware & cutlery; Ceramics


Metalwork Collection

Large image request

Please confirm you are using these images within the following terms and conditions, by acknowledging each of the following key points:

Please let us know how you intend to use the images you will be downloading.