A set of Edwardian training cutlery

Elkington forks

Etiquette cutlery, patented 1910, for training children to hold their table cutlery properly. William Hutton, Sheffield.

Dating to the Edwardian era, these pieces of training cutlery (sometimes called an etiquette set) were manufactured by the Sheffield company of William Hutton in both silver and silver plate. Two discs were attached to each piece in the correct position for the child’s finger and thumb.

Elkington forks-2

Finger discs designed for William Hutton, Sheffield.

As these pieces are of adult size it is presumed they were not designed for the younger child who, in wealthier households, ate their meals in the nursery out of public view.

Elkington forks-4

Patent 820.10. William Hutton, Sheffield.

This unusual design was registered so each piece is stamped with the patent number 820.10.

On a personal note, the only other set I have found is part of the Bill Brown collection held at the Millennium Gallery in Sheffield UK, which lacks a spoon and is manufactured in solid silver.

The number of designs of child’s cutlery that have appeared over the ages means this is a very interesting field to base a private collection on and I plan to add further blogs on this particular subject soon.

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