Presentoir, carving knife and fork

Presentoir, carving knife and fork

Presentoir, Carving Knife and Fork

Handles of ivory and piqué work, silver, red and green painted enamel, steel blades, etched and part gilded
Germany, dated 1682
Inscribed in German and Latin 'Pray and work' (présentoir) and in Latin '17 October 1682' (knife and fork)

A 'présentoir' or serving knife served carved meat to diners. The blade of this one is decorated with an etched design. The design was painted in an acid-resistant material before the object was dipped into an acid bath. The acid ate into the exposed metal leaving the design in relief. The handles are decorated with piqué work: thin strips of silver inlaid into ivory. Coloured enamels and lacquers add depth to the flower patterns.