The Wallace Collection

The Wallace Collection, A Family Collection, A National Museum, An International Treasure House
Serving knife
  • Serving knife
  • Manner of Tommaso Finiguerra , Engraver
  • Italy
  • c. 1460 and 19th-century
    19th century (handle)
    c. 1450 - c. 1470 (blade)
  • Iron or steel, bronze, gold, silver and copper alloy, chased
  • Length: 22.8 cm
    Width: 2.2 cm, minimum
    Width: 4.2 cm, maximum
    Weight: 0.105 kg
  • Maker's mark: Bladesmith's mark inlaid in brass
  • A888
  • European Armoury I
Commentary
History
Further Reading
  • Serving knife, of the same form as A880-2, but smaller. The handle is mounted in gilt bronze, oblong in section, chased with scrolls and hatching, the sides having silver plaques delicately nielloed with figures in Italian costume of the 15th century: on one side a youth holding a book above a lady in a long robe, on the other, a lady in a pleated dress above a youth with a sword; a shield bearing on a fess a demy bull rampant beneath. The flat, pointed blade has a curved edge and straight back, and is inlaid with a bladesmith's mark in brass. The nielloed decoration is in the style of the famous goldsmith and engraver, Maso (Tommaso) Finiguerra of Florence (1426-64).

    With the possible exception of the blade, entirely 19th century.
    Gay, Glossaire, p. 474, fig. A

    Provenance: Louis Carrand (Un couteau de table du XVe siècle, à manche d' argent niellé à figures, 600 fr.; receipted bill, 3 July, 1866); Comte de Nieuwerkerke.

    The same mark occurred on the blade of a cinquedea formerly in the collection of the Baron de Cosson.