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Embassy

Cutlery
1964-1965 (made), 1963 (designed)
Artist/Maker
Place of origin

In 1963, David Mellor was approached by the Ministry of Public Building and Works to design a complete new range of silver for use in British embassies. The idea originally came from Lord John Hope, who as Minister of Works in the Macmillan government, determined that in future British embassies should be built and furnished in an obviously modern style. He set up an advisory committee, which he chaired, and which included Lady Eccles, Lady Balfour, wife of a former ambassador to Madrid, and Paul Reilly, Director of the Council of Industrial Design.

The commission for Embassy glass went to Robert Goodden, Mellor's former RCA Professor, Professor Richard Guyatt was called in top provide the decoration for the Minton China plates. To complete the setting, David Mellor designed hand-forged sterling silver cutlery with stainless steel blades and a satin finish. The cutlery was intended to have a certain splendour but to avoid pomposity. The forks, unconventionally, have three prongs. The cutlery was produced in the Sheffield workshops of C.W. Fletcher & Sons Ltd. The hollowware and candlesticks in the workshop of David Mellor.


Object details

Categories
Object type
Parts
This object consists of 7 parts.

  • Knife (Culinary Tool)
  • Dessert Knife
  • Fork
  • Dessert Fork
  • Soup Spoon
  • Dessert Spoon
  • Teaspoon
TitleEmbassy (manufacturer's title)
Materials and techniques
Silver and stainless steel
Brief description
Cutlery service, `Embassy', Silver and stainless steel, seven piece place setting, Sheffield, made by C.W. Fletcher a& Sons, designed by David Mellor, 1963.
Physical description
Silver and stainless steel, seven piece place setting, comprising of a table knife and fork, cheese knife and dessert fork, soup spoon, dessert spoon and teaspoon from the 'Embassy' range. Dinner knife, a straight, tapered silver handle, square in cross section, hallmarked 1965 stainless steel blade with a straight leading edge, rounded tip and V shaped cutting edge. Dessert / cheese knife, a smaller version, hallmarked 1965. The dinner fork, a tapered handle, straight, squared end, the bowl spreads from the shaft and is divided into three tines, hallmarked for 1964, the dessert fork, a smaller version, hallmarked for 1964. The soup spoon tapered handle, squared tip, similar to the forks, rounded hemi-spherical bowl, hallmarked for 1964, the dessert spoon, similar handle to the soup spoon, oval bowl, hallmarked for 1964. The tea spoon, a smaller version of the dessert spoon, hallmarked for 1965.
Dimensions
  • Dinner knife length: 23.5cm
  • Dinner knife width: 2.3cm (maximum, of blade)
  • Dessert knife length: 21cm
  • Dessert knife width: 2.0cm (maximum, of blade)
  • Dinner fork length: 21.7cm
  • Dinner fork width: 2.4cm (maximum, of bowl)
  • Dessert fork length: 19.5cm
  • Dessert fork width: 2.2cm
  • Soup spoon length: 20.5cm
  • Soup spoon width: 5.7cm (maximum, of bowl)
  • Dessert spoon length: 19.7cm
  • Dessert spoon width: 4.4cm (maximum, of bowl)
  • Teaspoon length: 13.2cm
  • Teaspoon width: 3.0cm (maximum, of bowl)
Style
Production typesmall batch
Marks and inscriptions
  • Sheffield hallmarks for 1964 and 1965.
  • E II R beneath a crown
  • DM for David Mellor
  • DAVID MELLOR SHEFFIELD (On the stainless steel knife blades.)
Credit line
Gift of the Ministry of Public Works
Object history
Historical significance: Winner of Design Centre Award in 1965. Commissioned by the Ministry of Public Works, 1963, for use in British Embassies abroad
Subject depicted
Association
Summary
In 1963, David Mellor was approached by the Ministry of Public Building and Works to design a complete new range of silver for use in British embassies. The idea originally came from Lord John Hope, who as Minister of Works in the Macmillan government, determined that in future British embassies should be built and furnished in an obviously modern style. He set up an advisory committee, which he chaired, and which included Lady Eccles, Lady Balfour, wife of a former ambassador to Madrid, and Paul Reilly, Director of the Council of Industrial Design.

The commission for Embassy glass went to Robert Goodden, Mellor's former RCA Professor, Professor Richard Guyatt was called in top provide the decoration for the Minton China plates. To complete the setting, David Mellor designed hand-forged sterling silver cutlery with stainless steel blades and a satin finish. The cutlery was intended to have a certain splendour but to avoid pomposity. The forks, unconventionally, have three prongs. The cutlery was produced in the Sheffield workshops of C.W. Fletcher & Sons Ltd. The hollowware and candlesticks in the workshop of David Mellor.
Bibliographic references
  • Teleri Lloyd-Jones, David Mellor Design, Suffolk, Antique Collectors' Club, 2009. pp.17, 42-44. ill. ISBN. 978-1-85149-603-7
  • Christopher Frayling, David Mellor: master metalworker, Sheffield, Sheffield Galleries & Museums Trust, 1998. pp.39, 41 ill.
Collection
Accession number
CIRC.676 to F-1965

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Record createdMay 10, 2005
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