A Short History of Cutlery

About Blue Chilli Design | We are a German brand specialized in design & trade of luxury silver tableware, barware, glassware, accessories & cutlery. We have made it our vision to keep the tradition of silverware alive. To share our passion, we like to tell you about silver cutlery.

Once upon a time, approx. 900 years ago something like modern flatware was developed in the Middle East. However, this was far from what we know today.

The first tool developed was a knife. Early man used sharpened stones or bones to cut food. However, even then these primitive items were pieces of high value and considered a personal item. Decorated with carvings, jewels or simply feathers. Spoons came into the picture later and were also carved from bone, shells, stone or wood. First findings of spoons have been discovered in ancient Egypt, India, Greek, Roman and Chinese cultures. Greek and Romans loved their spoons of bronze and silver to eat their soup. However, only wealthy used utensils that were more than just for practicality to display their status.

Until the introduction of forks in Europe from the Orient, knives were far more common and two knives were used to eat. One to cut, one to hold. At that time knives were still designed with pointed tips allowing this easily. Eating was considered a necessity nothing else.

In the Renaissance, people began to rediscover pleasures of life mainly because of the contact with the Middle East. Eating, cooking and food presentation became luxury and an expression of wealth. People who knew how to cook well, decorate tables and serve were in demand. Tableware of silver gained in popularity and silver cutlery became a must. The more decorated the pieces the higher the house. Designers used carvings, insert of precious stones or partial gold plating to make their pieces stand out. It was the start of the silverware age.

With focus on design the pieces became lighter, finer and more elegant. It grew into standard to give every guest a set of silverware increasing the need of silversmith to develop spoon, fork and knives in the house own decoration a dozen or more at a time. With the introduction of social gatherings around tea, coffee and cake, novel items found its way to the table. The Renaissance fostered exotic food and colonialization brought forward the curiosity to try, accordingly many utensils we know today have their origin in this area: Coffee, tea or mocha spoons, sugar and pastry tongs; fruit, dessert, fish or oyster forks and knives as well as serving ladle to name just a few.

With the rise of food as a pleasurable experience, the silversmith became an artist. In approx. 1870 he started his “years of travel and education” in Bavaria, Germany. He was very skilled and got the opportunity to work as a smith. Knowing that Augsburg was famous for it’s silversmithing - this was the place to be. It was not easy to stand out, but designs and precision gained recognition and won medals. Since that time our ancestors have taken silversmithing to new spheres, extended the design portfolio and gained recognition with supplying luxury hotels, embassies, luxury residences, royal homes, fine dining restaurants and became a trusted partner of Blue Chilli Design.

You want to know more? Follow Blue Chilli Design on Social Media


Leave a comment

All comments are moderated before being published