Or are you looking for Search the Archives?

Please complete the form to email this item.

Carving set

Carving set

  • Place of origin:

    Germany (made)

  • Date:

    1682 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Unknown

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Steel with ivory and silver piqué handles

  • Museum number:

    1193 to B-1864

  • Gallery location:

    Metalware, Room 116, The Belinda Gentle Gallery, case dr6 []

A 'présentoir' or serving knife served carved meat to diners. The blade of this one is decorated with an etched design. The design was painted in an acid-resistant material before the object was dipped into an acid bath. The acid ate into the exposed metal leaving the design in relief. The handles are decorated with piqué work: thin strips of silver inlaid into ivory. Coloured enamels and lacquers add depth to the flower patterns.

Cutlers specialised in making blades. They trained as apprentices for up to seven years, working for a freeman cutler who housed and fed them. In England a cutler would have to prove himself as bladesmith and hafter (maker of handles) in order to obtain the freedom of the Worshipful Company of Cutlers, gain his own mark and set up his own business.

Many cutlers acted as middlemen who bought blades from bladesmiths, handles from hafters and sheaths from sheathers. They assembled the cutlery themselves and sold them under their own names.

Physical description

Présentoir, carving knife and fork with handles of ivory and silver piqué work and etching on the blade. All the handles are decorated with piqué work: thin strips of silver inlaid into ivory with flower patterns. Coloured enamels and lacquers enhance the designs. The blade of the carving knife is decorated with an etched design. The handle of the presentoir is inscribed with mottos in Latin and German. The blade of the presentoir is impressed with etched designs of pomegranates and floral motifs, and further faint German words, which are not entirely legible or comprehensible. The metal collars of all three pieces are engraved with floral motifs, with remains of gilding.

Place of Origin

Germany (made)

Date

1682 (made)

Artist/maker

Unknown

Materials and Techniques

Steel with ivory and silver piqué handles

Object history note

Bought from Delbougne, Brussels in 1865.

Descriptive line

Carving set, ivory and silver piqué, a serving knife, a carving knife and a fork, Germany, dated 1682

Bibliographic References (Citation, Note/Abstract, NAL no)

Inventory of Art Objects Acquired in the Year 1864. In: Inventory of the Objects in the Art Division of the Museum at South Kensington, Arranged According to the Dates of their Acquisition. Vol I. London: Printed by George E. Eyre and William Spottiswoode for H.M.S.O., 1868, p. 41
p. 423
Trusted, Marjorie, Baroque & Later Ivories, Victoria & Albert Museum, London, 2013
Trusted, Marjorie, Baroque & Later Ivories, Victoria & Albert Museum, London, 2013, p. 423, cat. no. 436

Materials

Ivory; Enamel; Steel; Silver

Techniques

Etching; Gilding

Categories

Metalwork; Tableware & cutlery

Collection

Metalwork Collection

Large image request

Please confirm you are using these images within the following terms and conditions, by acknowledging each of the following key points:

Please let us know how you intend to use the images you will be downloading.