Knife Rests have been used for longer than most people think. In the early 18th Century and possibly the late 17th century the gentry and the ruling classes sat down to a meal that could have had anything up to 12 courses and apart from their hands probably only had one knife and fork per person. To save soiling the table, the knife and fork and tablecloth, if there was one, the utensils had to be put down onto something that kept them off the table. It was probably initially just a piece of wood in the times of Henry the eighth but from the eighteenth century we know that some enterprising person started to design what we now consider proper knife rests in pairs, sets of 4,6,12 and probably more.
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