Not currently on display at the V&A

Fork

1800-1850 (made)
Artist/Maker
Place Of Origin

In the 17th century, sets of matching cutlery were still a novelty, and highly prized. The culture of the day demanded that they ‘should not be merely polished and abundant but also rare and distinct.’ It was the sign of a gentleman that he possessed cutlery made of unusual and valuable materials, and many knives, forks and spoons of this period have handles of agate, ivory, or other precious materials.

These sets were at first restricted to a single knife, fork and spoon, which were carried in a fitted case for the personal use of the owner. It was not until the early 18th century that sets of multiple pieces, provided by the host rather than the guest, began to appear. This set was originally described as 17th-century Italian when it was acquired by the Museum in 1854, but it is more likely that it was made later, perhaps not long before it was acquired.


object details
Categories
Object Type
Materials and Techniques
Silver-gilt with a handle of cloudy agate and silver-gilt filligree terminals
Brief Description
Fork with handle of cloudy agate with silver-gilt filigree decoration and shaft and tines of silver-gilt, possibly Germany, 1800-1850.
Physical Description
Fork with cylindrical tapering handle of cloudy agate with a band of silver-gilt filigree round the base and a filigree rosette on the top. The shaft and tines are silver-gilt.
Dimensions
  • Includes handle and tines length: 15cm
  • Maximum width of agate handle width: 1.2cm
Summary
In the 17th century, sets of matching cutlery were still a novelty, and highly prized. The culture of the day demanded that they ‘should not be merely polished and abundant but also rare and distinct.’ It was the sign of a gentleman that he possessed cutlery made of unusual and valuable materials, and many knives, forks and spoons of this period have handles of agate, ivory, or other precious materials.



These sets were at first restricted to a single knife, fork and spoon, which were carried in a fitted case for the personal use of the owner. It was not until the early 18th century that sets of multiple pieces, provided by the host rather than the guest, began to appear. This set was originally described as 17th-century Italian when it was acquired by the Museum in 1854, but it is more likely that it was made later, perhaps not long before it was acquired.

Collection
Accession Number
1323E/2-1854

About this object record

Explore the Collections contains over a million catalogue records, and over half a million images. It is a working database that includes information compiled over the life of the museum. Some of our records may contain offensive and discriminatory language, or reflect outdated ideas, practice and analysis. We are committed to addressing these issues, and to review and update our records accordingly.

You can write to us to suggest improvements to the record.

Suggest Feedback

record createdJune 24, 2009
Record URL