Art/ Collection/ Art Object

Traveling set in leather case

mid-18th century
Silver, partly gilded, steel, tooled leather
Length (Knife [a]): 9 7/8 in. (25.1 cm); Length (Fork [b]): 8 7/8 in. (22.5 cm); Length (Spoon [c]): 7 7/8 in. (20 cm); Length (Marrow spoon [d]): 7 1/16 in. (17.9 cm); Length (Fork [e]): 7 1/2 in. (19.1 cm); Overall (Spice box [f]): 2 9/16 × 2 1/16 in. (6.5 × 5.2 cm); Height (Egg cup [g]): 2 7/16 in. (6.2 cm); Length (Knife rest [h]): 3 3/4 in. (9.5 cm); Overall (Box [i]): 2 1/8 × 14 3/8 × 3 1/2 in. (5.4 × 36.5 × 8.9 cm)
Credit Line:
Gift of The Salgo Trust for Education, New York, in memory of Nicolas M. Salgo, 2010
Accession Number:
Not on view
It is amazing that eight implements could be compressed into this leather case. Though similar in its ingredients to German traveling sets, this Hungarian version also includes a type of cutlery rest in the form of a rod raised on legs that would have helped protect a tablecloth or precious table surface. It is also remarkable that function, and not ostentatious display, governed the design of each implement (see István Heller. Ungarische und siebenbürgische Goldschmiedearbeiten: Vom Ende des 16. Jahrhunderts bis zum Ende des 19. Jahrhunderts. Munich, 2000, p. 134, no. 49, who points out the rareness of early examples. The type developed into a fashion of mostly bourgeois circles by the progressing nineteenth and twentieth century). It is also remarkable that each implement of the present set is designed to obey its utilitarian service instead of making a social statement.

[Wolfram Koeppe 2015]
Nicolas M. Salgo
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