Santa Margarita (1622)
This two-tined fork is of the proper size and design to be tableware intended for use by a single person. Forks were first used as eating implements in France and Italy the sixteenth century, but their use was considered by many to be excessively prim. That attitude changed at the dawn of the seventeenth century, as people came to realize forks made eating a much more hygienic experience. Not only did forks keep hands cleaner, but the multiple tines offered greater holding power and prevented food from rotating as bites were being carried to the mouth. Many early forks, like this example, had only two tines. It is not known if this fork was intended for shipboard meals or if it was part of a stored cargo, but the fact that it is made of silver is evidence of the abundance of the metal in Spanish South America.
2 cm W x 13.8 cm L , Item (Overall)
40.31 g Weight