This diminutive dessert fork was once used by the Washingtons and their guests to sample the sweetmeats, candied fruits, and puddings that constituted the final course at a formal dinner. Conspicuously engraved with the Washington crest, it was among the "2 Setts best Silver handle Knives & Forks best London Blades" sent to George Washington by his London agent in 1757. Washington's investment in specialized services of flatware demonstrated luxury at a time when the possession of a fork of any material was a sign of aspiring gentility, and enabled him to confidently entertain members of the colonial Virginia elite. More






Silver, steel


Overall (H x W x D): 6 1/2 in. x 7/8 in. x 7/8 in. (16.51 cm x 2.22 cm x 2.24 cm)


Gift of Mrs. William Henry Brown, 1891


Stamped near the head of the handle on the obverse: an obscured mark, probably of the lion passant.

Stamped near the head of the handle on the reverse: an almost entirely obscured mark.

Object Number



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