Or are you looking for Search the Archives?

Please complete the form to email this item.

Knife and fork

Knife and fork

  • Place of origin:

    France (made)

  • Date:

    1580-1620 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:


  • Materials and Techniques:

    Steel, with engraved brass handles set with mother-of-pearl and beads

  • Credit Line:

    Salting Bequest

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    Metalware, Room 116, The Belinda Gentle Gallery, case DR6 []

The brass handles on these pieces are inset with mother-of-pearl, an exotic material often set into precious metals and displayed in the treasuries of Renaissance princes.

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

Knife and fork with handles of engraved brass set with mother-of-pearl plaques and beads.

Place of Origin

France (made)


1580-1620 (made)



Materials and Techniques

Steel, with engraved brass handles set with mother-of-pearl and beads

Marks and inscriptions

No marks

Descriptive line

Knife and fork, handles of brass and mother-of-pearl, France, 1580-1620.


Brass; Mother-of-pearl; Steel


Metalwork; Tableware & cutlery


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.