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Knife (culinary tool)

Knife (culinary tool)

  • Place of origin:

    Netherlands (probably, made)

  • Date:

    ca. 1700 - ca. 1750 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Unknown

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Bone and steel with silver tines

  • Credit Line:

    Given by J.H. Fitzhenry Esq., 25 Queen Anne’s Gate, London S.W.

  • Museum number:

    1067-1902

  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

This knife of bone and steel with silver tines is of a pair with a fork. Both handles depict crowned heads with floral ornament. They are likley to be Netherlandish, and to date from the first half of the eighteenth century.
Knives have been used since prehistoric times, but the history of knives, forks and spoons for eating in Europe probably commenced in the fourteenth century, and their use became accepted by the sixteenth century. Until the late seventeenth century it seems to have been common practice for people to carry their own cutlery, often in a leather case. 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

This fairly crude carving of this knife-handle depicts crowned heads with floral ornament.

Place of Origin

Netherlands (probably, made)

Date

ca. 1700 - ca. 1750 (made)

Artist/maker

Unknown

Materials and Techniques

Bone and steel with silver tines

Dimensions

Length: 16.8 cm whole, Length: 8.5 cm ivory alone

Object history note

Given by J.H. Fitzhenry Esq., 25 Queen Anne’s Gate, London S.W. in 1902.

Descriptive line

Knife, of a pair with a fork, bone and steel, silver tines, probably Netherlands, ca. 1700-1750

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

List of Works of Art Acquired by the Victoria and Albert Museum, During the Year 1902, Arranged According to the Dates of Acquisition with Appendix and Indices, London: Printed for His Majesty's Stationery Office, by Wyman and Sons, Limited, 1906, p. 268
p. 430
Trusted, Marjorie, Baroque & Later Ivories, Victoria & Albert Museum, London, 2013
Trusted, Marjorie, Baroque & Later Ivories, Victoria & Albert Museum, London, 2013, p. 430, cat. no. 457

Materials

Bone; Steel; Silver

Subjects depicted

Heads

Categories

Accessories; Household objects; Eating; Tableware & cutlery

Collection

Metalwork Collection

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