Not currently on display at the V&A

Wedding Knife and Fork

mid 17th century (made)
Artist/Maker
Place of origin

Originally it was customary for a pair of knives to be given as part of a bridal trousseau. Later on, a matching knife and fork was given instead. The practice of giving knives first started in England during the reign of Henry VIII (1509-47), but the custom has longer traditions on the Continent. Marriage contracts in the mid 14th century record the ‘attest of knife’. This practice derived from the convention of presenting a purchaser with a knife when conveying property.


Object details

Categories
Object type
Parts
This object consists of 3 parts.

  • Box
  • Fork
  • Knife (Culinary Tool)
Materials and techniques
Amber handle, gilt steel tang and ferrule, brass finial
Brief description
Wedding knife and fork in a box, north east Germany, perhaps Stolp, mid 17th century
Physical description
Wedding knife and fork in a box.
Object history
Bought from S. Rosenau, Kissingen in 1872. When purchased they were in a stamped and gilt leather case, subsequently lost.
Subjects depicted
Summary
Originally it was customary for a pair of knives to be given as part of a bridal trousseau. Later on, a matching knife and fork was given instead. The practice of giving knives first started in England during the reign of Henry VIII (1509-47), but the custom has longer traditions on the Continent. Marriage contracts in the mid 14th century record the ‘attest of knife’. This practice derived from the convention of presenting a purchaser with a knife when conveying property.
Bibliographic reference
Trusted, Marjorie. Catalogue of European Ambers in the Victoria and Albert Museum. London : Victoria and Albert Museum, 1985. 119 p., ill. ISBN 0948107138.
Collection
Accession number
111 to B-1872

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Record createdFebruary 5, 2004
Record URL
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