Roman brass fork, two-pronged
The claim that the fork was only invented in the Middle Ages is a widespread misconception. Although forks were in fact only introduced to Western Europe (even later to much of Northern Europe) in the course of the Middle Ages, archaeological finds prove that they were already in use in Roman times. However, Roman forks seem to have been much rarer than Roman spoons (cochlearia and ligulae). In archaeological circles, it is assumed that they were primarily used for serving rather than eating, although it is not excluded that some may also have been in use as table forks.
Excavations have unearthed specimens ranging from plain to elaborately crafted, in many variations of shape, with two, three or even (rarely) four tines and different handle designs. Although some rare finds were made of bone, the majority of the surviving pieces (on display in museums across Europe) are made of base as well as precious metals such as silver or bronze.
The fork in its simplest, two-pronged form is thought to have originated in the Roman Imperial period, where it was used as an improved skewer for dressing and serving, or carving meat. Two-pronged forks were probably used until the end of antiquity. Three- and four-pronged forks, which may also have been in use as eating utensils, are largely attributed to Late Antiquity (c. 3rd to 5th century AD). It is assumed that all fork variants - regardless of their purpose as carving fork, serving fork or dinner fork - were reserved for the well-heeled citizens of the upper middle and upper classes.
This reproduction of a small Roman two-pronged fork is made of brass. The straight handle with simple, yet beautiful decorations finishes with a sharp point. This beautiful piece of Roman cutlery is great for Living History purposes and a nice addition to any Roman re-enactor's kit.
- Material: brass
- Total length: approx. 13.5 cm
- Dimensions of the ladle: approx. 2.5 cm long / 1.1 cm wide
Not suitable for direct contact with food.