Encyclopedia of Early Modern History Online

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(1,798 words)

1. Concept

The term cutlery, denoting the three eating utensils knife, fork, and spoon, with a single handle design, came into use in the 1830s. The word derives from the Old French coutelerie, “knife-making,” and was used in this sense from the 14th century. The German Besteck acquired the same meaning as modern cutlery around the same time. 18th-century encyclopedias still defined it as a container, etui, or case for storing small instruments or tool…

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Pelzer-Reith, Birgit, “Cutlery”, in: Encyclopedia of Early Modern History Online, Editors of the English edition: Graeme Dunphy, Andrew Gow. Original German Edition: Enzyklopädie der Neuzeit. Im Auftrag des Kulturwissenschaftlichen Instituts (Essen) und in Verbindung mit den Fachherausgebern herausgegeben von Friedrich Jaeger. Copyright © J.B. Metzlersche Verlagsbuchhandlung und Carl Ernst Poeschel Verlag GmbH 2005–2012. Consulted online on 26 February 2024 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/2352-0272_emho_COM_017544>
First published online: 2015
First print edition: 20170206

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