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Silver and Flatware/Old Style Pickle Forks


Dear Mr. Stringer,
I have attached a photograph of a John Wendt Florentine fork.  I see forks similar to this one labeled as "old style pickle forks" and I'm wondering if that is actually correct.  Did a fork of this type serve as a pickle fork during the period?  I'll confess I suspect it was not meant to be a pickle fork or any type of serving utensil, and would have been rejected as such during the era it was made.  I think it was a place setting piece for the purpose of eating pastry, pie or dessert.  It would be awesome to have access to period sales catelogs to reference but, I've had a great deal of trouble finding many of those, as I'm sure you know already. Please educate me on this piece and the era in general with regard to similar pieces (3-tined with left tine notched), and cite the period documentation to support your answer if possible/practical so I will have another great source to go to when I have questions of this sort.  I thank you so much for your time and so appreciate your expertise.  Very Respectfully, Kim Ledbetter

Hi, Kim.

I don't have many old catalogs but I do have a few.

I have a reproduction of the Gorham Strasbourg catalog dated January, 1898. It illustrates a "pickle fork" with very similar tines to the one in your picture. It is 5 7/8" long.

In my reproduction of the Gorham Buttercup catalog dated 1900, there is a fork with very similar tines called "Pickle or Pastry Fork". To me that seems like an odd combination but that's what they called it. It's a bit over 5 1/2" long.

In my reproduction of the Gorham Chantilly catalog from 1914, a "pickle fork" is also illustraed with a similar tine pattern.  It is 5 7/8" long.

Hope this helps.

Best wishes,

#grew up in Talladega & Tuscaloosa#  

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Jim Stringer


I answer questions about sterling flatware and other sterling pieces........... I answer value questions at I also author a blog at and write articles about silver at ........... Thanks to nominations from questioners, I'm listed in the Top 50 Experts for 2014 and 2015.......... NOTE: Please do not give me a verbal description of a pattern and ask me to identify it. Attach a picture if you need such help..........


Buyer and seller of sterling pieces for over ten years. Author of the blog, Sterling silver writer for

Publications;; "Selling_Your_Silver: A Guide to Finding a Buyer and Getting a Good Price (

BS, University of Alabama; MS, University of Maryland

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