Art/ Collection/ Art Object


Louis Nicolle (master 1666, registered new mark 1680, active 1694)
French, Paris
Silver gilt
Length: 7 in. (17.8 cm)
Credit Line:
Bequest of Catherine D. Wentworth, 1948
Accession Number:
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 522
This matching fork and spoon are significant not only as rare survivors of Louis XIV’s sumptuary edicts but also as early examples of silver flatware. Although spoons had been used at table since the fifteenth century, forks came into widespread use only in the early part of the seventeenth century, and the concept of a matched fork and spoon, known as a couvert, did not appear until the second half of the century. Knives were included in the couvert toward the end of the 1600s, shortly after this fork and spoon were made. Gilding and engraved scrolling vegetal motifs decorate other surviving couverts of the 1680s.

[Jeffrey H. Munger, 2010]
Inscription: (in medallion) A Q; (in medallion, almost effaced) P D

Marking: [1] Crowned fleur-de-lis, 2 grains de remède, L N, a cock's head (maker's second mark, registered 1680);
[2] Rayed fleur-de-lis, an A below (Paris discharge mark, 1681–84);
[3] Closed crown (Paris discharge mark for work made in a single piece, 1681–84);
[4] A flanked by 2 pellets, a third below, 3 radial fleur-de-lis above (Paris countermark for large pieces, 1684–87);
[5] Boar's head (Paris restricted warranty mark for silver, 1838–79);

Location of marks:
on back of handle, some strikes incomplete
Catherine D. Wentworth (until 1948; bequeathed to MMA)
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