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various types of implements for cutting, preparing, and eating food. In addition to different kinds of knives and the steels to sharpen them, the term usually encompasses forks and spoons. The history of cutlery probably begins with the shell and the sharp flint used for cutting. The primitive craft of chipping flint began by improving naturally sharp edges, e.g., the chipped flint knives of the Neolithic period. Knives were made of copper and bronze when those metals came into use. Finally steel and alloys of steel have displaced other materials for the blades of instruments for cutting. The early generalized cutting instrument has been differentiated into specialized instruments of wide variety, e.g., the sword, the razor, and shears. Table knives were introduced c.1600; until then, individuals brought to the table their own knives, which served also as daggers. The penknife was originally a knife for pointing quill pens. The pocket knife, with the blade folding into the handle, was invented c.1600. The cutler's craft or industry was long marked by the successful resistance of the handicraftsman to mass production. Small shops, with from one workman to a half dozen, were characteristic. Certain localities have become known for the excellence of their cutlery. In Spain, the Toledo blade was famous when the sword was an important weapon. Solingen, in Germany, and Sheffield, in England, have been noted for their cutlery since the Middle Ages. The best knives are forged from high-carbon steel. Cheaper grades are beveled from steel bars thick in the center and tapering toward the edges or are stamped from sheets of metal. In hollow-ground blades, the sides are concave. For stainless blades, the steel is usually partly replaced by, or coated with, chromium. Scissors blades commonly are either cast in molds or stamped. Most razor blades are die-stamped.


See G. I. Lloyd, The Cutlery Trades (1913, repr. 1968); J. B. Himsworth, Story of Cutlery, from Flint to Stainless Steel (1954).


1. implements used for eating, such as knives, forks, and spoons
2. instruments used for cutting
3. the art or business of a cutler
References in periodicals archive ?
Last week Sam, 22, discovered she would lose her role as the main promoter of Newbridge Silverwear.
They emerged from their team hotel clutching the precious silverwear - which will now remain in the club trophy cabinet for good as a mark of Liverpool's fifth coronation as champions of Europe.
The 28-year-old won four Polish league titles with his former club Wisla and he is determined to get his hand on all the silverwear available in Scotland.
GORGEOUS Samantha Mumba really was the Queen of Pop yesterday when she became the face of jewellery giants Newbridge Silverwear.
SIR Alex Ferguson has a rival when it comes to winning silverwear.
Burns will face Dundee in today's Tennent's Scottish Cup third round at Firhill, and he dreams of winning some silverwear.
Real Madrid may have been the overwhelming favourites but Bayern Leverkusen had upset the odds to reach the final and both were desperate to get their hands on the most sought after silverwear in European football.
However, this was a case of points before prizes with fourth place in the Premiership and the gold of Europe a priority ahead of any possible silverwear.
Every night when putting his two daughters to bed he walked past his trophy cabinet, groaning with silverwear, but pride of place was his Seven Pillars of European success.
There will be silverwear at this club this season, I am sure of it.
Now hopefully I can fight my way into the European Championship squad but the first thing is to bring some silverwear back to Tynecastle.
Now Kinnear ferevently believes it's time for the Crazy Gang to lift silverwear again and march into Europe.