Flatware is the term used for forks and spoons. Knives are normally referred to as cutlery but I will group them together as many collectors of flatware are also collectors of cutlery.
The oldest form of cutlery is the Knife which has been used since prehistoric times. Spoons came next, around 5000BC and then the Anglo Saxons used Forks.
Silver is a popular substance for flatware and different styles have often been collected. The most valuable spoon pattern is the apostle spoon. They are called this because their handles are decorated with a figure of an apostle.
Other popular patterns in all flatware are the Rat-tail, Old English, Fiddle Thread, Fiddle Pattern, Bright Cut, Beaded and Albany. The Art Nouveau era have also produced some very elaborate designs.