Antique Lesson - Knife Box

Believe it or not, in the middle ages people usually brought their own cutlery with them when eating away from home.  Later, as cutlery became more readily available, decorative cases, especially for the knives, were often left on display in the dining room.  These beautiful works of art were the ingenuity of the english cabinet-makers during the last quarter of the 18th century.   

Mahogany and satinwood were the woods most frequently used and many were inlaid with lighter toned woods.  Look at these beautiful examples. 

I think a pair of these would be so stunning on a buffet. 

Here's a close up of the inside of the boxes.

And this one includes the original cutlery.

  These graceful receptacles, often made in pairs, still exist in fairly large numbers and are often converted into stationary cabinets for a more practical use.  As in the example below.

Prior to knife boxes, were these knife urns.  They were placed on pedestals flanking a sideboard.  An English innovation for high-style dining rooms in the late 1760's, they went out of fashion the following decade with the creation of knife boxes that were place on the sideboard.

That's the history of the knife box!  For more information, click here.
  Have a great day. M.


  1. So interesting! Beautiful workmanship in these pieces. Love learning something new. :)

  2. I want one! They are gorgeous and functional. I am not sure i have ever seen one. Are they hard to find?

  3. very enlightening post. beautiful pieces too.

  4. Very interesting post Mandi, I have never seen knife boxes before, they are beautiful.


Thank you for thoughts on my post! M.