Set of twelve matching late 19th century B Pollman Arnhem Nymegen Brilliant Cut Glass knife rests in their orignial box. Excellent original condition. The box measures 14 inches wide by 4.75 inches deep and 1.75 inches high. Each knife rest measures 3.5 inches long. Armhem Nymegen or (Nijmegen today) is one of the oldest cities in the Netherlands near the German border. Knife rests were part of the Victorian convention of one more things to add to the table setting, along with fish knives and lettuce forks and individual asparagus tongs. Knife rests were designed especially for the master of the house to rest his carving knife and fork on after carving a portion and placing on a plate to hand to one of his guests. The host would of course be at the head of the table unless he discharged this task to his butler who would possibly do the carving on the sideboard. Either way the table or sideboard would need protecting with a set of two quite large knife rests. In some more wealthy establishments there were also a set of knife rests at each diners chair placing. Knife rests were often in cut glass to match the rest of the glassware or salts on the table. The purpose of the knife rest was to keep the table linen clean, of course, but the knives were only placed on the rests when dirty. You would never begin a meal with the knives on a knife rest. During the meal, the dinner knife was properly placed on your plate between bites. Only when the plate was removed between courses was the knife placed on the knife rest.
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