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Knife and fork

Knife and fork

  • Place of origin:

    France (made)

  • Date:

    1580-1620 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    unknown (production)

  • Materials and Techniques:

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

  • Credit Line:

    Salting Bequest

  • Museum number:

    M.610&A-1910

  • Gallery location:

    Metalware, room 116, case DR6

  • Download image

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.
[knife (culinary tool)] The blade is engraved and partly gilt.

Place of Origin

France (made)

Date

1580-1620 (made)

Artist/maker

unknown (production)

Materials and Techniques

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

Marks and inscriptions

No marks

Dimensions

[knife (culinary tool)] Length: 17.9 cm, Width: 1.7 cm maximum
[Fork] Length: 15.5 cm, Width: 1.7 cm maximum

Descriptive line

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

Materials

Brass; Steel; Mother of pearl

Techniques

Gilding

Categories

Metalwork; Tableware & cutlery

Collection code

MET

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Qr_O108654
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