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Fork

Fork

  • Place of origin:

    Great Britain (made)

  • Date:

    1999 (manufactured)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Robert Welch MBE, RDI (designer)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Polished 18/10 stainless steel

  • Credit Line:

    Given by Robert Welch

  • Museum number:

    M.16:2-2000

  • Gallery location:

    Silver, Room 67, The Whiteley Galleries, case 4, shelf 4

The pattern on this stainless steel fork is called Sea Drift. Robert Welch (1929-2000) designed the range for his own retail outlets in 1999, when a single place setting cost £42.

Robert Welch was a distinguished designer, manufacturer and silversmith. He trained at the Royal College of Art in London as a silversmith before beginning work at the small firm of J. & J. Wiggin. At that time it was the only British firm manufacturing stainless steel tableware.

In 1955 he became Wiggin's design consultant and also moved to Chipping Camden in Gloucestershire and set up his own workshop. His successful firm concentrated on domestic design, including pottery, glass, a range of decorative cast iron, light fittings and cutlery. In 1965 he was made Royal Designer for Industry.

Physical description

Hollow handled four-tined fork curved inwards to fit the hand.

Place of Origin

Great Britain (made)

Date

1999 (manufactured)

Artist/maker

Robert Welch MBE, RDI (designer)

Materials and Techniques

Polished 18/10 stainless steel

Dimensions

Length: 20.5 cm

Object history note

This set of cutlery was donated by Robert Welch to the Metalwork department for the new display: 'International silver: 1900-2000' which opened November 2000 in the refurbished Silver Gallery.

Historical significance: Robert Welch was a distinguished designer, manufacturer and silversmith. He trained at the Royal College of Art as a silversmith before beginning work at the small firm of J&J Wiggin. At that time J&J Wiggin were the only British firm manufacturing stainless steel tableware, marketed under the name 'Old Hall'. In 1955, he was appointed Wiggin's design consultant, a role which lasted until the firm closed down in 1984.

Welch also moved to Chipping Campden in 1955 and set up a workshop in the Old Silk Mill. His successful firm concentrated on domestic design including pottery, glass, a range of decorative cast iron, light fittings and cutlery.

In 1965, he was made Royal Designer for industry and in 1979, awarded an MBE.

The 'Sea Drift' pattern was designed in 1999 for his own design retail outlets. A single place setting originally retailed for £42.

Descriptive line

Stainless steel fork in 'Sea Drift' pattern designed by Robert Welch.

Production Note

Reason For Production: Retail

Materials

Stainless steel

Techniques

Forging; Polishing

Categories

Metalwork; Tableware & cutlery

Production Type

Mass produced

Collection

Metalwork Collection

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