Dessert knives (12) in box

Object Number: 
INV.14119a-m
Date: 
ca. 1806
Medium: 
Steel, silver, ivory
Dimensions: 
Box: 10 1/2 x 4 1/2 x 1 1/4 in. (26.7 x 11.4 x 3.2 cm); each (knife): 9 3/8 x 5/8 x 1/2 in. (23.8 x 1.6 x 1.3 cm)
Marks: 
Stamped on the blades: "LESUEUR" over a crowned "A." Painted on the lid: "RL" and "EL." Printed on the label inside the lid: "A L' A COURONNE / Rue des Cannettes, no. 514 Faubourg- / Germain; / LE SUEUR, FILS, / Successeur de son pere. / Coutellier des Ecoles de Santé et des Hôpitaux, fait et vend toutes sortes d’Instru- / ments de chirugie, tanten [sic] argent qu’en acier, / couteaux; Ciseaux, Rasoirs, et tout ce qui / concerne la Coutellerie. / {Bonnes Lancettes} A PARIS."
Gallery Label: 

Chancellor Livingston probably acquired this set of dessert knives in Paris during his diplomatic residence there from 1801 to 1804. Following European custom, dessert was served as a separate course and required distinct sets of knives and forks. Matching sets of dessert knives became stylish among wealthy Americans during the late eighteenth century. Knives such as these, with steel blades and ivory handles, were typical of those manufactured in England and France during the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries.

Credit Line: 
Gift of Goodhue Livingston
Place Made: 
Europe, France, Paris
Due to ongoing research, information about this object is subject to change.
Creative: Tronvig Group