Two-Pronged Brass Fork

c. 1900
W: 0.5" D: 0.25" H: 8.0"
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Though chopsticks have become the quintessential dining utensil in China, forks were were being used by the Chinese elite as far back as the Xia dynasty (2070-1600 BC), over 4,000 years ago. These forks were delicately carved of animal bone with two or three prongs, and are the earliest forks that have been ever excavated. Although chopsticks eventually surpassed the fork in popularity, this two-pronged fork shows that the utensil remained in use well into the 20th century. Simply formed of brass, the fork has developed a unique patina that speaks to its age and use.

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