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tlineopen  British / Irish Sterling
tline3open  Toasting Fork?

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Author Topic:   Toasting Fork?
trefid2

Posts: 59
Registered: Jul 2015

iconnumber posted 01-15-2018 05:09 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for trefid2     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I've recently purchased what at first guess is a Victorian 13" toasting fork, made in London 1897 by Robert Stebbings, weight of 81 grams. Any insight on whether it might not be a toasting fork but have had another function? My thought is being solid silver, it would be a heat conductor as a toasting fork.



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ahwt

Posts: 2050
Registered: Mar 2003

iconnumber posted 01-16-2018 01:39 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for ahwt     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Nice fork. It could be a toasting fork and the user may put on gloves or use a towel to hold the end when it gets hot.

Most toasting forks that I have seen have a wooden end. I often have wondered why the wooden end did not burn as it would have been very close to the fire.

It would have been a perfect fork for Oliver Larrabee to use when he was fishing for the last olive in that very tall jar in the movie Sabrina.

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trefid2

Posts: 59
Registered: Jul 2015

iconnumber posted 01-18-2018 12:03 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for trefid2     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Indeed! It's an oddity which I'm sure I can find some use for in the kitchen but I'll stick to the modern toaster for my bread.

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Scott Martin
Forum Master

Posts: 11239
Registered: Apr 93

iconnumber posted 01-18-2018 09:51 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Scott Martin     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
My siblings eagerly helped themselves to things on my dinner plate.... I think they would have loved that fork! wink

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Kimo

Posts: 1582
Registered: Mar 2003

iconnumber posted 01-21-2018 11:42 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Kimo     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I do not know exactly what this would have been used for. Toasting is possible, but I am a bit hesitant to jump on that bandwagon given the strong conductivity of sterling making it impractical to put one end over heat without using some kind of glove or finger protectors. The same extra long form in a spoon shape is often called a stuffing spoon and perhaps this might possibly be a stuffing fork?? Hopefully someone will know for sure as I would like to learn.

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Janet1

Posts: 43
Registered: Oct 2017

iconnumber posted 01-21-2018 01:37 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Janet1     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Re a whatzit from trefid2 on Aug 2016. Jennens skewers. From British Irish forum.

These are for military belt buckles. They are called cross belt pricker plate fittings.

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trefid2

Posts: 59
Registered: Jul 2015

iconnumber posted 01-21-2018 07:18 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for trefid2     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Kimo, I also can't help but think it had another function but the toasting fork idea is the first to mind. On a side note, if we put it with a stuffing spoon and a carving knife, we have a place setting for a giant. I wonder if he would stir his coffee with a dessert spoon?

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trefid2

Posts: 59
Registered: Jul 2015

iconnumber posted 01-21-2018 07:48 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for trefid2     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Janet1 that's a very interesting thought and well researched. The blades are flat and they do have the ring at the end to link a chain. The hilt however is round, wouldn't that play havoc with the fit? A military purpose is consistent with what the retailer sold.

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Janet1

Posts: 43
Registered: Oct 2017

iconnumber posted 01-21-2018 08:07 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Janet1     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Trefid2,
Yes you seem to be right about that. Not the first time I got ahead of my skis. My apologies, Janet

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Janet1

Posts: 43
Registered: Oct 2017

iconnumber posted 01-21-2018 08:26 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Janet1     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote

Maybe, this is worn outside, not a belt buckle as I thought.

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trefid2

Posts: 59
Registered: Jul 2015

iconnumber posted 01-21-2018 09:22 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for trefid2     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Janet1, there's nothing to apologize for, your input is valid and the posted picture helps to explain your thoughts on a possible use. I do think your in the right directon with a military link.

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agphile

Posts: 798
Registered: Apr 2008

iconnumber posted 01-22-2018 06:56 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for agphile     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Whether or not it is the right answer, it is fascinating to see the metamorphosis of a functional iron tool for the military into a bit of silver bling for the well-dressed cavalry officer. Similar, I suppose, to the way the gorget shrank from being a piece of armour to become a silver badge of officer’s rank.

Still, to revert to the fork that started this thread, I don’t believe it was a toasting fork, which would typically have much more widely spaced prongs. I would suggest it was simply a large serving fork. I have not come across a more specific name for such large forks (except in the case of salad servers which are normally shaped a bit differently from normal forks).

In England in the 19th century and into the 20th the term used in the trade for a large serving spoon was Gravy Spoon. I have later 20th century flatware catalogues for Francis Higgins and for Wakeley and Wheeler who were producing hand made flatware in traditional patterns, still using their old Victorian dies. They offer what they simply describe as a large serving fork to accompany a gravy spoon if desired. If that term was good enough for these silversmiths with a long history behind them, I doubt we can discover a better one now.

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ahwt

Posts: 2050
Registered: Mar 2003

iconnumber posted 01-30-2018 06:35 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for ahwt     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
A couple of years ago everywhere I looked I saw toasting forks for sale. I brought these two and I think one or two others that I put somewhere. I think that there must have been a Martha Stewart type article about these as they really did seem to appear everywhere. The two below I think are typical of the shorter toasting forks and are silver plated. One has a Faux ivory handle and the other an antler handle with an attractive star carved at the end of the handle.

I have never used them for bread or toast, but they do work as a cold meat fork.



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