GEORGE II 12 Sterling Silver Pistol Handled Dessert Forks and Knives. Circa 1745

GEORGE II 12 Sterling Silver Pistol Handled Dessert Forks and Knives. Circa 1745



Beautiful and elegant set of 12 GEORGE II sterling silver pistol handled dessert forks and knives.

Circa 1745.


The crest and motto is recorded for Cunningham and others. This is a wide flung clan that is reputed to go back as far as 1059.

The most likely/prominent owner was Henry Conyngham, 2nd son of Major General Henry Conyngham of Slane, co Meath and Mount Charles, co Donegal who was killed in Battle in Spain, 1705/06.

Henry Conyngham was born in 1705 and succeeded his brother in possessing the family estates at the end of 1738. He was created Baron Conyngham of Mount Charles in October, 1753, Viscount Conyngham in July, 1756 both in the Peerage of Ireland and finally Baron and Earl Conyngham of Mount Charles in January 1781. He died at Bath in March 1781 and was succeeded as Baron Conyngham by his Nephew.

One of the most notorious of this family was Elizabeth, Marchioness of Conyngham (d.1861 aged 92) who was the Mistress of King George IV and is reputed to have received above £80,000 of jewels and gifts from him. The road from Dublin Harbour to Slane Castle, still one of the straightest in Ireland, was said to have been laid so that the King could reach his Mistress's bed with the minimum of delay on his arrival in Ireland.

The three-tined forks are sterling silver throughout with a lion passant stamped on the base of the tines but no hallmarks visible on the handles. The knives have a sterling silver handle with rubbed marks but the lion passant is visible on some and all the blades are made of steel and are stamped with a cutlers mark. The contemporary coat of arms with the Battle Cry above are engraved on the side of each handle.

The handles of both the forks and knives have an extremely elegant design with an elongated spreading shell on the pistol section and wavy strap marks joining the back and the front of the shell.

Length of forks: 6.3 inches (16cm)

Length of knives: 7.3 inches (18.5cm)

Weight of forks: 18 troy ounces (560 grams) all 12.

Weight of knives including steel blades: circa 21 troy ounces (653 grams) all 12.


c 1745


Sterling silver


United Kingdom


Fork handles are very good with some wear on tines. Knife handles very good, some stains on the steel knife blades which could be improved on request.