Material and Medium: pen and ink on paper
Department: Decorative Art
Accession Number: 2004.1307
This pen drawing is called 'The Attack'. It is one of a pair of drawings depicting a boy eating. The second is named 'The Defeat'. The work is attributed to Arthur S Pegler of Southampton and is dated to 1868.
'The Attack' depicts a young boy sat on a chair at a small table. Some of his personal belongings, a spinning top or toy, a bag and a schoolbook, are discarded on the floor. He is tucking into his meal of a large pie with a great deal of enthusiasm.
The subject is using a two tine fork and a knife with scale tang and, most likely, wooden scales. A tang is a piece of metal running from the blade into the haft (handle), enabling them to be attached to one another. It is often in the form of a rod that runs through a hole in the centre of the haft. A scale tang is the same width as the haft and is visible at its edges. Two scales, the material from which the handle is made, are attached to either side of the scale tang using rivets, which can be seen on the knife haft in this drawing. Although the drawing is dated to 1868, the two tine dining fork is a style usually associated with the 1700s or earlier.
Also on the table is a muffineer (a type of caster for ground spice or pepper), a salt with pedestal base and a tablespoon. The spoon is placed bowl down, which was the general custom after the 1730s. Prior to this, spoons and forks tended to be laid with the bowl up, ensuring that the hallmarks that were struck on the back of the stem were visible. A notice on the wall behind him advertises a church bazaar, to be held at Independent Chapel on May 25th 1869, giving the name Rev J Ward.
This work forms part of the Bill Brown Collection. Supported by The Art Fund, Heritage Lottery Fund and the Friends of Sheffield Galleries & Museums Trust.