The Washingtons kept a large quantity of china and cutlery on hand at Mount Vernon to accommodate the dining needs of the constant stream of guests to the estate. The inventory taken after Washington's death listed eight "knife cases" used to store utensils. This example holds thirty-seven pieces of cutlery. It likely included two sets of twelve knives and forks, two sets of carving knives and forks, eight serving implements, and a meat skewer or marrow scoop. Diners were given fresh cutlery at the start of each course, necessitating multiple sets for each place setting.






Mahogany, unidentified secondary wood, ebonized wood, copper alloy, iron, wool


Overall: 12 11/16 in. x 9 5/16 in. x 9 1/8 in. (32.23 cm x 23.65 cm x 23.18 cm)


Gift of Lawrence R. Houston, 1991

Object Number



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