The Wallace Collection

The Wallace Collection, A Family Collection, A National Museum, An International Treasure House
This object is currently being catalogued
  • Knife
  • This object is currently being catalogued
  • Unknown Artist / Maker
  • Paris, France
  • 1730s
  • Gold and bloodstone
  • Length: 23 cm
    Width: 2 cm
  • W202
  • Smoking Room
Commentary
History
  • This knife forms a couvert with a fork and spoon, bought by Sir Richard Wallace in 1872 as having once belonged to Louis XIV’s great minister Cardinal Mazarin. However, although of fine quality, these objects were probably made in the eighteenth century. The practice of having a complementary setting of knife, fork and spoon originated in Renaissance Italy, but was established and developed in France under Louis XIV, spreading eventually to the whole of Europe.