Or are you looking for Search the Archives?

Please complete the form to email this item.

Knife and fork handle

Knife and fork handle

  • Place of origin:

    Germany (possibly, made)
    France (possibly, made)

  • Date:

    1530-1580 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:


  • Materials and Techniques:

    Steel, with handles of copper enamelled in relief

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    Metalware, Room 116, The Belinda Gentle Gallery, case DR7 []

Enamelled handles, such as on this knife and fork, were fragile and easily damaged. Few examples survive in good condition. Most come from Germany and France where they were especially popular.

Ebony, ivory, fish skin, tortoiseshell, amber, bone, horn and shell were all popular for decorating cutlery. Around 1730 ceramic handles were introduced to Europe from China. Although cutlers were required by their guilds to be able to make a complete knife, handles of carved ivory, silver, bronze and glass were usually imported or made by specialist craftsmen.

Physical description

Handles of copper enamelled in relief with insects, flowers and leaves.

Place of Origin

Germany (possibly, made)
France (possibly, made)


1530-1580 (made)



Materials and Techniques

Steel, with handles of copper enamelled in relief

Descriptive line

Knife and fork handle with enamelled handles, Germany or France, 1530-80.


Copper; Enamel; Steel


Eating; 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.