Set of seven pruning tools, Steel, partly gilded; mother-of-pearl, French, Moulins

Set of seven pruning tools

Date:
1575–1600
Culture:
French, Moulins
Medium:
Steel, partly gilded; mother-of-pearl
Dimensions:
Overall (tool .1470): 3 5/16 × 5/8 × 12 in. (8.4 × 1.6 × 30.5 cm);
Overall (knife .1471): 1 × 6 5/8 × 7 in. (2.5 × 16.8 × 17.8 cm);
Overall (knife .1472): 1 1/4 × 1 × 12 in. (3.2 × 2.5 × 30.5 cm);
Overall (saw .1473): 3 1/8 × 13 3/4 × 1 1/8 in. (7.9 × 34.9 × 2.9 cm)
Overall (clippers .1474): 3 9/16 × 13 1/8 × 1 1/16 in. (9 × 33.3 × 2.7 cm);
Overall (knife .1475): 2 7/8 × 1 3/8 × 12 3/4 in. (7.3 × 3.5 × 32.4 cm);
Overall (knife .1476): 3 1/8 × 1 1/2 × 14 in. (7.9 × 3.8 × 35.6 cm)
Classification:
Metalwork-Steel
Credit Line:
Gift of Irwin Untermyer, 1964
Accession Number:
64.101.1470–.1476
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 544
Decorated with engraved natural motifs, including fruit and fish, precious tools such as these were meant for noble patrons for whom gardening had gradually become a suitable pastime. The set, comprising clippers, a saw, four knives, and a combination hammer-rasp-file-and-auger, would have been used for trimming branches and obtaining bud grafts.
Marking: Punched on underside of hammer head of .1470: a palm frond;
Punched on blade of .1471: a palm frond;
Punched on blade of .1472: a palm frond;
Punched on blade of .1474: a palm frond;
Punched on blade of .1475: a palm frond;
Incised on blade of .1475: faict AMoulins ala palme;
Punched on blade of .1476: three palm fronds;
Incised on blade of .1476: faict amoulins a lapalme.
Johannes Paul , Hamburg (until 1882; sale, Catalogue des objets d'art et de haute curiosité in de M. Johannes Paul à Hambourg, October 16, 1882, no. 1205; sold to Zschille); Richard Zschille , Berlin (1882–after 1893) ; Irwin Untermyer (by 1962–64; to MMA)