Following his retirement, George Washington was inundated by a constant stream of family, friends and strangers. As many were invited to dine with the family, the Washingtons kept a large quantity of china and cutlery on hand. The inventory taken after Washington's death listed eight "knife cases" used to store utensils. This example, one of a pair, holds fifty-eight pieces of cutlery: two sets of twelve knives and forks for the first course and dessert, two sets of carving knives and forks, and six serving implements. Diners were given fresh cutlery at the start of each course, necessitating multiple sets for each place setting. More





Mahogany, red pine, fused silverplate on copper, iron


Overall: 14 7/8 in. x 8 in. x 11 1/4 in. (37.8 cm x 20.32 cm x 28.58 cm)


Gift of Betsy Wright Thomsen, 1962

Object Number



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