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Spoon and fork

Silver, parcel-gilt

Origin: Holland, probably Schoonhoven

Date: Second half 19th century

18.8 cm length of spoon; 20.1 cm length of fork

Marks/Maker: (Spurious) Amsterdam, D in circle (on fork), Z in circle, IW on spoon

Bequeathed by C.D.E. Fortnum, 1899; WA1899.CDEF.V419;WA1899.CDEF.V420

T. Schroder (2009), no. 579

The design for these pieces is based on an identical model made in Enkhuisen, 1651. However, forks of this form did not exist in the seventeenth century.

Information derived from T. Schroder, British and Continental Gold and Silver in the Ashmolean (2009)

Fork: The fork first arrived in Italy from Byzantium in the eleventh century and was in regular use there by the fifteenth century. It was a while before the fork was accepted elsewhere in Europe. In 1518, Martin Luther amusingly quipped, ‘God preserve me from the little forks’! It finally came into common use in the seventeenth century, where it developed from the two-pronged type to one of three or four prongs, demonstrating its transition from carving or serving fork to one used for eating.
Fork: The fork first arrived in Italy from Byzantium in the eleventh century and was in regular use there by the fifteenth century. It was a while before the fork was accepted elsewhere in Europe. In 1518, Martin Luther amusingly quipped, ‘God preserve me from the little forks’! It finally came into common use in the seventeenth century, where it developed from the two-pronged type to one of three or four prongs, demonstrating its transition from carving or serving fork to one used for eating.

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