Object Image

Set of six knives

The tooled leather box contains six couverts—the French term for two or more matched pieces of flatware—which in this instance each comprise a fork, spoon, and knife. Six identical couverts housed in a similar box are also in the Museum’s collection. It is not known for whom these thirty-six pieces of flatware were made because the coats of arms that decorated each fork, knife, and spoon have been erased. However, the two boxes are decorated on the lids with the Noailles arms, suggesting that a member of that distinguished aristocratic family owned the cutlery in the eighteenth century.

The designs of the flatware are unusually elaborate and ambitious, especially in the use of openwork in the ...

1767-71
Gilt silver, silver
21.4cm
1979.396.16-.21
Image and text © Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2019

Where you'll find this

The Metropolitan Museum of Art
Permanent collection