This is a rare and special surviving item. It is a boxed set of silver and steel knife and fork. The shaped leather-covered box has intricate tooling around the top edge. It opens to reveal a fitted interior which is lined with pale blue silk and edged with glittering gold braid. The knife and fork sit in their appropriate slots and have silver handles (see marks in images) and steel blade and tines. On the base of the box in gilt are a set of initials – a name and the date 1811 and the fork, on the side of the handle, has initials and the date 1808. The condition is consistent with age and use. The leather is slightly worn and scuffed. The original loops for closing are missing. The silk is in fragile condition (see images) and the braid has a small section missing and some signs of wear. The front section could possibly be re-glued in position. The actual knife and fork are in very good condition for age. Despite the problems of age, this is a very interesting and intriguing item and has obviously been valued and loved for over 200 years. It is rare for such items to still retain their original box and for this and the item to be dated. 10.25 ins (26cm) x 2.25 ins (6cm) x 1 ins (2.5cm). Weight 288 grams. This item appears in my book, “Antique Boxes, Inside and Out” on page 89.