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Cooking Fork

ca.1750-1800
Origin: America
Overall: 18 1/4 x 1 5/8 x 3/4in. (46.4 x 4.1 x 1.9cm)
Wrought iron
Museum Purchase
Acc. No. 1955-108
Wrought iron fork with a long, two-stage shaped handle. Top portion is of flat, broad section with swollen ends and a scrolled hanging hook forged integrally at the tip. Bottom section is of flat, narrow section, has a double baluster profile and supports a pair of round-sectioned tines.
Label:Amongst the most ancient pieces of standard kitchen equipment still in use is the cooking fork, also known as a "flesh" or "toasting" fork. These scaled up forks were variously used to roast and toast foodstuffs in front of the fire, and for picking up sizable pieces of meat. Nowadays, the descendants of these handy utensils are used as carving and servings forks. Early American smiths would have made many of these during the span of their careers. Although this example exhibits some attractive and well considered shaping, it is on the plainer side of what was being made at the time.