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tline3open  Stick a Fork in it

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Scott Martin
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iconnumber posted 05-27-2014 04:25 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Scott Martin     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
From a recent National Geographic Magazine.

Any comments/opinions?

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iconnumber posted 05-27-2014 09:58 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for taloncrest     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Fish fork, indeed! As far as I know, Alvin always marketed that as a salad fork. And I'm sure the "shrimp" fork next to it is a pickle fork. I've got one identical in its original box, and someone along the way has handwritten pickel (sic) fork on it. At least one of my reference books agrees about it in that pattern. The oyster fork I believe was marketed as a lemon fork, and is the Cactus fork a cold meat fork? Or were they a little longer? I wonder about the sardine fork as well. It's not wide enough, is it?
The only attributions that I could concur with is the ugly serving fork (why use such an unattractive, made-up example), the lobster fork, although it looks weak for the purpose, and the last cocktail fork.

Well, I typed before I thought. I just checked my early 50's catalog for Alvin and the company did call that a fish fork (and a salad and a pastry fork). But calling it a fish fork will confuse a lot of people with Alvin patterns who thought they had salad forks.

[This message has been edited by taloncrest (edited 05-27-2014).]

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Scott Martin
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iconnumber posted 05-27-2014 10:34 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Scott Martin     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I've got a lot of similar thoughts.

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iconnumber posted 05-29-2014 12:03 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Polly     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Mmmm, my favorite Shiebler multimotif pattern! Now I want a whole set of those lobster forks.

Can someone explain to me the difference between an oyster fork and a cocktail fork?

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iconnumber posted 05-29-2014 07:29 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for doc     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote

I found these descriptions of oyster fork and cocktail fork on an etiquette page.


The seafood fork, also known as a cocktail fork; is a small, narrow, three-pronged fork made with short tines and a long handle; it is approximately 4½ to 5½ inches in overall length. The purpose of a seafood fork is to spear seafood served in a compote or a shell, such as shrimp cocktail or coquille St. Jacques.

The seafood fork is used in formal and informal dining. At a multi-course formal dinner or luncheon, the seafood fork is the fourth fork laid on a fully appointed table. It is placed to the right of the oval soup spoon. Sometimes the tines of the seafood fork rest in the bowl of the soup spoon and the handle is angled to the right, a placement easy for the diner to grasp. At an informal meal, the seafood fork is used as needed.

The oyster fork is a small utensil made with three short wide curved tines, approximately 4 inches in overall length. The left tine is extrawide to assist in cutting the membrane that connects the oyster to the shell. The oyster fork is used only in informal dining. The shell is steadied with the fingers of one hand and the utensil is held in the other hand to extract the meat. Oyster forks are not used in formal dining.

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H Bradshaw

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Registered: Mar 2015

iconnumber posted 03-22-2015 03:50 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for H Bradshaw     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The serving fork with the splayed tines may not necessarily be made up. I have one, also by Gorham, that I suspected to have been a luncheon fork that someone modified BUT the weight far exceeds any luncheon fork (& most dinner forks) that I know of & I changed my opinion. Somewhere in the recesses of my memory, I recall this being referred to as a Sauerkraut Fork - & it works superbly for that purpose.

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Richard Kurtzman

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Registered: Aug 2000

iconnumber posted 03-24-2015 10:36 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Richard Kurtzman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I never noticed this post before.

" A little knowledge is a dangerous thing."

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iconnumber posted 03-24-2015 12:12 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for chicagosilver     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
From a 1937 book The Story of Sterling:

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H Bradshaw

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Registered: Mar 2015

iconnumber posted 03-25-2015 12:16 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for H Bradshaw     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I can't speak to the authenticity of the Chantilly fork above, but my 6-3/4" fork in Gorham's 1897 'Meadow' pattern is the correct length but definitely not the norm for a luncheon/dessert fork. It weighs a substantial 63.2 grams as opposed to the usual 35-40 for other forks of same length; my longer LF's of this era max out around 50 grams with a Tiffany Persian weighing a massive 52.

In old catalogs, I've never seen where LF's were made in different weights but I'd love to hear of any that disprove my theory.

I saw the fork on the internet (don't know why I read the description because I was as skeptical as everyone else) but when I saw the weight & the obvious increased gauge of the silver, I took a chance & bought it. It's definitely an old piece & far to heavy for a place piece of that length. I'll post a photo when I locate my camera (my existing photo is squarish & can't be resized to fit the requirements here).

I looked back through some references & found Sauerkraut Fork mentioned/pictured in a silver tableware article in 'Martha's' magazine (don't know if I'm allowed to mention the name) in Nov 1998. Coincidentally, the pattern is Chantilly.

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Scott Martin
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iconnumber posted 03-25-2015 10:04 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Scott Martin     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote

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H Bradshaw

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iconnumber posted 03-26-2015 01:11 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for H Bradshaw     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I stand corrected - I never knew so many patterns had heavy luncheon/dessert forks as an option. It looks like Meadow & Cluny are the same weight & the heaviest of the lot. Thank you for the info. Some of my old catalogs have prices but I don't think they have weights.

As much as I hate to admit the possibility that this is a made up piece, it's looking more likely even though the scale is more suited to a serving piece than a LF. And I'll continue to use it for serving dense, shredded foods like coleslaw (or sauerkraut).

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