The Wallace Collection

The Wallace Collection, A Family Collection, A National Museum, An International Treasure House
  • Knife
  • Family of de Bry
  • Flanders
  • c. 1620
  • Iron or steel and silver, engraved
  • Length: 18.2 cm
    Length: 8.5 cm
    Width: 1.5 cm
    Weight: 0.045 kg
  • Inscription: '….. of thavr [or t] mo …'
    Inscription: '…bivchew tr…'
    Inscription: 'daniel ii'
  • A914
  • European Armoury I
Images & Media
Further Reading
  • Knife, part of a set with fork A915, having a silver handle, oblong in section and ornamentally pierced at the end. It is delicately engraved on the one side with the Judgement of Solomon (?) and below, Justitia. At the top a small oval panel enclosing clasped hands inscribed:…

    of thavr or t mo

    The symbol within the oval panel on the reverse side is too defaced for identification, but the inscription appears to read:…

    ... bivchew tr ...' (the w is very unclear).

    On the other side is a scene representing Susanna observed by the Elders, and and below that a seated woman with a banner, who is labelled below 'fiducia' (faith).

    The blade is single-edged, rounded and recurved at the point. There is a narrow, curled strip along part of the back edge.

    Flemish, about 1620.

    Provenance: Joyeau (couteau et Fourchette argt. De Théodore de Bry, 400 fr.; receipted bill, 27 7bre, 1867); Comte de Nieuwekerke.

    The high finish and delicacy of the engraving upon the handles of this knife and fork are in the style of Theodor de Bry (1528-98), but their shape and general ornament suggest a later date; possibly they were the work of Johann Theodor de Bry, son of the above (1561-1623).

    Compare similar examples in the Ridpath Collection (sold Sotheby's, 18-19 February, 1942, lot 220, ex-Trapnell) and in the Victoria and Albert Museum (Bailey, Knives and Forks, fig. 17).