fork types

A quote from the article: “It might surprise you to know that the tool you use to eat with every day was once considered immoral, unhygienic and reminiscent of the devil!”

I love that.

Other things I saw and learned from this article:

  • The introduction of the fork in 1004 in Venice was scandalous!
  • There’s a such thing as a strawberry fork, and it’s real cute.
  • Don’t feel you have to know a ton about silver to start collecting. Just start looking at flea markets for heavy utensils — this indicates it’s real.
  • Fork etiquette: “If it’s on a plate, use a fork. In a bowl, a spoon.”

You know you want to read about the history of forks.

Source: past and present: history of the fork + collecting & care | Design*Sponge.

It's good etiquette to share what you like!


  1. I loved your post on gloves, and was glad I could add to your growing list of tips. Forks? Now those are REALLY my thing.

    I wrote a whole book on mango forks (which I was told for years, did not exist, even by “experts” at Silver Queen, Replacements, Sotheby’s and Butterfield’s). Funny, I am now the one that gets the calls :)

    Your tip above to “Just start looking at flea markets for heavy utensils — this indicates it’s real.” may indicate the utensil is a “real” utensil, but if you are referring to sterling silver, those pieces will be lighter in weight. Silver plate is silver that is electroplated over copper, brass or other heavy materials.

    One more note… If it reads “nickle silver” or “Brazil silver” the piece may actually have no silver content at all. Those are just names. American sterling silver is marked either “925/1000,” “Sterling,” “.925” or hallmarked with a company’s maker’s marks.

    For my bizarre collection of odd utensils, I really don’t care what the silver content is in a piece. I simply like the stranger items. My students like them too. So if you find something you can’t identify, please let me know and I will be happy to tell you what you’ve got.

    Happy flea marketing! Well, maybe not this weekend. My pets are starting to line up in twos at the front door.

    Maura Graber

    • Retroette

      So happy to have further info on collecting forks — thank you for chiming in with your expertise! This post was inspired after I came across a utensil at an antique shop, and the owner had no idea what it was. He told me utensils were once so specialized that it not uncommon to now come across one whose purpose isn’t clear. I still regret not buying that oddity! I haven’t started collecting utensils yet, but I’ll definitely feel ready if/when I do thanks to you and Design Sponge!

Leave a Comment