from The Century Dictionary.
- noun A basket used for holding knives; especially, a part of the furniture of the dining-room or service-room used to hold table-knives.
Sorry, no etymologies found.
She had once bid furiously at an auction for a lot described as "Twelve kitchen chairs; also a small wicker knife-basket."
They were indeed the little leaden ones out of the dolls 'house knife-basket of green and silver filagree.
These are comparatively small and resemble in shape a common knife-basket or tray, but without handle or division.
Illustrated Catalogue Of The Collections Obtained From The Indians Of New Mexico And Arizona In 1879 Second Annual Report of the Bureau of Ethnology to the Secretary of the Smithsonian Institution, 1880-81, Government Printing Office, Washington, 1883, pages 307-428