Richelieu and his knives (from the archives)

Why do silver knives (except fruit knives) have round tips?

The Cardinal of Richelieu (1585 – 1642) was Louis XIII’s Prime Minister. Very powerful (some say more than the King himself) he was the most conservative statesman of the time. One thing he would not tolerate was his dinner table guests picking their teeth with the tip of their knives. So he ordered round tip silver knives that would kick the filthy habit. Later, all “gentilhommes” in the kingdom copied him. That is why silver knives have round tips.

9 Comments Add yours

  1. Alex Suarez says:

    So THAT’s why I use a fork to pick my teeth. (Just kidding!)

    1. My French Heaven says:

      Just the idea of the metal against my teeth makes me cringe:)

  2. Dominique says:

    Curieux et intéressant.

    1. My French Heaven says:


  3. I have a set of silver knives from my great grandmother who immigrated from Wales– and they are all rounded on the ends! Thanks for the little history lesson.

    1. My French Heaven says:


  4. Porthos – I did not know that. Regards, d’Artagnan

    1. My French Heaven says:


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