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Cooking Fork

1826
Origin: America
Overall: 1 1/8 x 18 3/4 x 2in. (2.9 x 47.6 x 5.1cm)
Wrought Iron
Museum Purchase
Acc. No. 1933-382
Wrought iron fork with a long, tapering rectangular handle terminating in a flat disk, pierced in the center for suspension. The handle's other end supports a pair of square-sectioned tines. A punched border and the date "1826" decorate the upper surface of the handle.
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 carries some punched decoration along with its date of manufacture, it is on the plainer side of what was being made at the time.
Provenance:Mrs. Miles White, Jr., Baltimore, MD
Mark(s):The date "1826" is punched into the top side of the handle.