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Knife, fork and case: M.61A-C-1930

Object information

Current Location: In storage


Designer: Bry, Johann Theodor de (After)




Silver and steel; the knife has a steel blade and a silver handle engraved on each side with scenes from the Book of Esther; the two tined fork is similarly decorated

Silver and steel; the knife has a steel blade with parallel sides and a gilt polymorphic bolster; the silver tapering square section handle broadens towards the openwork Renaissance terminal, which has a small gilt stepped baluster finial. Each side of the handle is engraved and enamelled in black with - from the bolster - a naked woman under an arch inscribed 'PRUDENTIA' or 'FIDES', a cherub sitting on top of the arch, a scene from the Book of Esther beneath an arch inscribed 'ESTHER', and - on the finial - a crowned winged heart and squirrel with fruit, or a winged cherub's head and basket of flowers. The fork has two long steel tines with a bolster and silver handle decorated similarly to that of the knife, except above a naked woman and Bacchic man are arches inscribed 'CIRES' and BACCHVS. The rectangular case is covered in brown leather with a tooled gilt border round the hinged lid. The fitted interior is lined with green velvet.


History note: Frank Smart Collection

Legal notes

From the Frank Smart Collection, given by T.J.G. Duncanson

Acquisition and important dates

Method of acquisition: Given (1930) by Duncanson, T. J. G.


17th Century, Early#
Production date: circa AD 1600

School or Style


People, subjects and objects depicted

Components of the work

Handle composed of silver
Blade composed of steel
Box Lining composed of velvet
Box composed of leather Length 23 cm Width 4.9 cm
Fork Length 19.8 cm
Knife Length 21 cm

Inscription or legends present

Inscription present: a scythe or sickle

  • Location: On the blade
  • Method of creation: Inlaid in gold
  • Type: Cutler's mark
  • Text: ESTHER
  • Location: Over depiction from the Book of Esther
  • Method of creation: Engraved
  • Type: Inscription

Inscription present: 'FIDES', 'PRUDENTIA', 'CERES' or 'BACCHVS'

  • Location: Over each naked woman or Bacchic figure
  • Method of creation: Engraved
  • Type: Inscription
  • Text: 124 A KNIFE AND FORK, the grips of silver, engraved with The History of Esther, probably the work of Simon de Passe - early 17th Century
  • Location: On the base of the case
  • Method of creation: Printed on paper and glued
  • Type: Inscription

References and bibliographic entries

Related exhibitions

Identification numbers

Accession number: M.61A-C-1930
Primary reference Number: 166987
Old object number: M.2-1930
Stable URI

Audit data

Created: Saturday 6 August 2011 Updated: Thursday 1 October 2020 Last processed: Thursday 3 August 2023

Associated departments & institutions

Owner or interested party: The Fitzwilliam Museum
Associated department: Applied Arts

Citation for print

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The Fitzwilliam Museum (2023) "Knife, fork and case" Web page available at: Accessed: 2023-09-27 11:49:39

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{{cite web|url= |title=Knife, fork and case |author=The Fitzwilliam Museum|accessdate=2023-09-27 11:49:39|publisher=The University of Cambridge}}

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