A table knife is an item of cutlery, part of a table setting. Table knives are typically of moderate sharpness only, designed to cut only prepared and cooked food. They are usually made of stainless steel and may be ornate, often having handles of bone, wood or (less commonly now) ivory.
The distinguishing feature of a table knife is a blunt or rounded end. The origin of this, and thus of the table knife itself, is attributed by tradition to Cardinal Richelieu around 1637, reputedly to cure dinner guests of the unsavoury habit of picking their teeth with their knife-points.
In any table setting, the knife will typically be the piece to bear the maker's stamp, on the blade. The English city of Sheffield is noted for its cutlery manufactury and many knives bear the city's name in addition to the maker's.
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