Only Online Auction

Geneva, Apr 07, 2021

LOT 326

Baroque five-piece travelling cutlery set with its leather case; silver and steel

CHF 2,500 - 5,000

EUR 2,300 - 4,600 / USD 2,700 - 5,400 / HKD 21,000 - 41,900

Travelling set made for luncheon or dinner, with five table folding cutlery, made of wrought-iron and of steel engraved, burnished and damascened with gold and silver (partially erased)
Composed of five utensils, table cutlery:
· a folding knife (knife blade with a blacksmith illegible master mark, maybe a “B” stamped by a crown);
· a folding fork with two prongs to prick the food;
· a four-pronged folding fork to eat the food (with a master mark “C / F F”);
· a folding spoon with a large ovoid shallow bowl (with two master marks “C / F F”);
· a folding spoon with a small round shallow bowl and marrow scoop handle (with master mark “C / F F”).

Grading System
Grade: AAA


Brand Unsigned, Austro-Hungarian Empire, probably Carlsbad (or Karlovy Vary; Bohemia)

Year mid-18th century

Material wrought-iron and steel

Length 119 mm. (case)

Dimensions Length 19 cm. (knife unfolded)

Width 52.4 mm.

Thickness 47.3 mm.

Weight 237 gr. (approx.)

Accessories original case (boiled leather and vellum)


This set contains two rare utensils: a four-pronged fork, not a three-pronged one; and, a spoon with a handle for removing marrow from the bone (a marrow scoop).
The word cutler derives from the Middle English word ‘cuteler’ and this in turn derives from Old French ‘coutelier’ which comes from ‘coutel’; meaning knife (modern French: couteau). The word’s early origins can be seen in the Latin word ‘culter’ (knife).
This type of object was used by aristocrats and other travellers on their travels, particularly when they went to take the waters in spa towns or on their travels, especially by those on the Grand Tour.
The Grand Tour, written in the same way in English than in French, was originally a long journey in Europe made by young men, and more rarely young women, from the highest classes of European society, British, German, but also French, Dutch, Polish, Scandinavian, later Russian from the 1760s onwards, and American from the second half of the 18th century. The practice, which emerged in the mid-16th century, became more established throughout the 17th century, culminating in the 18th century. This aristocratic educational trip was intended to perfect their education and raise their interests, just after or during their studies, which were then essentially based on the Greek and Latin humanities. The main destinations were Italy, but also France, the Netherlands, Germany and Switzerland, which the young man travelled to and from.
Later, from the middle of the 18th century onwards, some ventured as far as Greece and the Near East, and sometimes Persia. These journeys generally lasted several years, up to five or six for the wealthiest families or the most ambitious young men; they were most often undertaken in the company of a tutor. They became a normal practice, even necessary for any good education for young people destined for high careers or simply from the cultured aristocracy. In the 18th and 19th centuries, the Grand Tour was the privilege of art lovers, collectors and writers. One of the effects of the Grand Tour was to bring northern European high society into contact with ancient art and to help spread Palladianism and Neoclassicism.


The purchase price payable by a buyer will be the sum of the final bid price plus the buyer’s premium, together with any applicable sales or compensating use tax. In addition to the hammer price, the buyer’s premium is payable as follows: 25% of the hammer price on each lot.

Important notice – Special conditions Please look carefully at all the photos as they are an integral part of the description. Any defect not mentioned in the descriptions but visible on the photos will be considered as described and cannot lead to any claim. The dimensions are given as an indication and may slightly differ from the measures mentioned by the manufacturers especially for contemporary watches. The photos are not retouched. Colors may differ from reality. For timepieces, we guarantee neither the functioning nor the precision of the movement, nor the water-resistance of the case. In addition, please note that movements, parts of mechanisms or cases may be incomplete. The lots are sold “as is”, described to the best of our knowledge and cannot be returned. Once the online bid is placed by the bidder, it cannot be cancelled.