Online Encyclopedia of Silver Marks, Hallmarks & Makers' Marks
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Basic Table Setting Guidelines

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All silverware is placed on the table in the order of its use, with the pieces to be used first farthest from the plate. Silverware is placed in an even line, one inch from the edge of the table. The forks generally go on the left, with the exception of an oyster fork which goes to the far right of the spoons, and the knives and spoons go on the right. The cutting edges of knives are always placed toward the plate. A butter spreader is placed diagonally on the butter plate with the sharper edge of the blade toward the edge of the table. Dessert forks and spoons can be brought in with the dessert and coffee or placed, European style, above the plate horizontally with the spoon bowl to the left and fork tines to the right.

Here are some examples of how to correctly use these pieces on your table:

 
4-PIECE SETTING

salad (salad fork) main course (place fork and place knife) and coffee (teaspoon)

5-PIECE SETTING

soup (place/soup spoon)
main course (place fork and place knife)
salad (salad fork)
and coffee (teaspoon)

6-PIECE SETTING

first course (fork and knife)
main course (place fork and place knife)
dessert (salad/dessert fork)
and coffee (teaspoon)

7-PIECE SETTING

soup (place/soup spoon)
first course (fork and knife)
main course (place fork and place knife)
dessert (salad/dessert fork),
and coffee (teaspoon)

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