Wednesday, 28 January 2015

K is for Knife rest

It's almost Thursday once again (wow that week went by so fast) time to meet up with Mrs Matlock and the other participants for Alphabe- Thursday.

K is for Knife Rest
A set of 6 hand painted antique Nevers knife rests
"Knife Rests have been used for longer than most people think. 
In the early 18th Century and possibly the late 17th century the gentry and the ruling classes sat down to a meal that could have had anything up to 12 courses and apart from their hands probably only had one knife and fork per person. To save soiling the table, the knife and fork and tablecloth, if there was one, the utensils had to be put down onto something that kept them off the table. It was probably initially just a piece of wood in the times of Henry the eighth but from the eighteenth century we know that some enterprising person started to design what we now consider proper knife rests in pairs, sets of 4,6,12 and probably more."
Source: Antique Knife Rest Collection.

a set of 6 metal dachshund knife rests
Back in the noughties I sometimes offered French knife rests, portes couteaux, for sale on eBay.
Collectors loved them,
a pair of Montagnon, Nevers faience knife rests
 tablescapers loved them,
a cheeky pair of pottery dolphins
a 1950's pair of colouful fish shaped vintage knife rests
and I loved shipping them, so light and easy to pack!

Christofle cut glass knife rests

a selection of Quimper faience knife rests
a pair of silver plate "wishbone" knife rests
I must admit that I developed a fondness for these decorative table accessories, acquiring quite a selection to use whenever we entertain.
I'm always on the lookout to add to my private collection when mooching around brocantes, vide greniers and auction houses.
Click here  to read a knife rest post on the love quimper blog.
How about you, do you ever include knife rests in your table settings?


  1. I don't own any knife rests, but have seen them. I guess we just use the bread plate? I think they are lovely, and I'll start keeping my eye out for them in antique stores and such. Thanks for a great post!

  2. Very interesting. I have seen crystal knife rests here at antique stores, but never really understood the necessity or the history. Nor did I realize that they came in so many designs.

  3. Fun and informative post, Maggie. I once had a complete set of Quimper knife rests that we found at the Paris flea. I later sold them. All the figural ones remain in my collection. I find them charming, but rarely use them for knife rests. I must pull them out for a tablescape soon. ;-)
    Enjoy your day! Beautiful here in TX.

    1. Look forward to seeing another of your wonderful Quimper tablescapes soon!

  4. Wow! Great selection knife rest and wonderful photography ~

    Happy Day to you,
    artmusedog and carol

  5. I especially love the French knife rests.


  6. Hello Maggie, I was very interested to read this post and see the photos of the knife rests. I have worked for a Canadian Pacific Hotel and been to many formal occasions but have never seen a knife rest. It would be interesting to see a knife rest as if it were being used at a meal. would one place it to the right of the dinner plate?

    1. That's right, Sheila next to the wine glass!

  7. I do not have any knife rests, but I love tablescapes. Now I'll be on the lookout for some the next time I go antiquing. Stopping by from GYB, and read many of your posts, lovely pictures!

  8. How interesting. You have a very nice collection.

  9. They are beautiful ! Unfortunately not in use anymore, I have a set of dachshunds !

  10. What a great the dachshunds♪

  11. Just bumbled into your blog for the first time. Will be visiting often. Liz

  12. I had no idea there are such things as knife holders. When I'm out at fancy restaurants, I often wish I had something to put my utensils on. For that matter, at restaurants where the tables makes me wary.
    The View from the Top of the Ladder

  13. These are very cool...and no, I don't have any..but wish every restaurant and household had them!!


  14. I'm liking your knife rests, Maggie. We may have some around here, if we do we don't use them. I will ask Mrs. Jim. They probably are old French as that is half her line.
    We like France too, it would be hard to count how many times we've been but I could come close. I should make a record of the timing of our travels. April 2014 we spent the day at LeHarve as we were doing the Princess trans-Atlantic cruise. There was nothing new for us to see in any of the excursions so we just came into town and walked around. When we got to London we stayed with our daughter for a couple of months.

  15. I had a set years ago, but don't remember what I did with them - so many moves! I know that I never used them at Pondside. I can see how they could become an addiction!

  16. Howdy! I have nominated you for the Versatile Bloggers Award. The details can be found here:
    I hope you will accept and continue to broaden the blogging community.

  17. I've never really thought about knife rests -- these are all lovely! Might be a fun thing to start looking for. Wonder if I'm more likely to find them European than American?

  18. The Dachshunds are adorable! I have a few crystal knife rest but only use them for special holidays.


Thanks for stopping by, your visit just made my day!