26 Jan The Interesting History of Cutlery
Considering how often cutlery is used, it’s something that is often taken for granted, and we think it deserves a whole lot of appreciation. The exact origins of the cutlery we use today are somewhat of a mystery, so it’s interesting to consider the utensils we use during every meal were created at different points in history by different cultural groups.
As an example, spoons had been used for hundreds of years before being used as part of cutlery collections, carved from a variety of objects (including wood and ivory). Knives derived their origins from hunting, gradually transforming from brutish hunting tools into the slim, elegant utensils we use today.
Developments in recognising manners and etiquette in the 15th and 16th centuries spearheaded social change, causing the aristocracy to begin using utensils during meals. This was the beginning of using cutlery during meals as we know it today. It was with mass production of cutlery in England in the 17th century that allowed this social understanding to spread to the common folk. The industrial age meant that cutlery was truly mass-produced, and so utensils found a place in every home in Britain. Stainless-steel was the next big innovation, supplanting iron and silver as the dominant metals used in cutlery. Eventually, with our cutlery tools perfected, advancements began to be made in terms of aesthetics and alternate materials.
Modern Cutlery Marvels
We at JM Style are pleased at the opportunity to stock these beautiful examples of cutlery. Wooden spoons and chipped blades have been replaced by elegant cutlery that is as functional as it is beautiful. The Sola range of cutlery stocked at JM Style reflects the illustrious origins of cutlery — as five generations of family cutlery production should — and additionally offers some modern twists. Since Sola Switzerland AG started producing cutlery in 1866, the Swiss cutlery creators have developed cutlery for a myriad of different tastes, occasions, and uses.
Traditional design is undeniably important, with the beautiful simplicity of shaped stainless-steel enamouring dinner guests, but it’s also important to recognise that cutlery has the potential to be visually and tactilely interesting. For example, the characteristic sheen of stainless steel has been substituted by Sola with artful matte black with the use of PVD (physical vapour deposition) coating, and sleek handles were replaced with a huge assortment of complex patterns. It makes cutlery that little bit more interesting. Next time you pick up a knife and fork, take just a moment to consider its interesting origins before digging into your wonderful meal.