Thursday, June 23, 2016

The Evolution of Cutlery

From the shell to the spork-have we really come that far?
Another random sketch. The prompt was cutlery. Still catching up on my Every Day in May.

Forks were once considered immoral. Here's a quote from an article by Chad Ward:

Imagine the astonishment then when in 1004 Maria Argyropoulina, Greek niece of Byzantine Emperor Basil II, showed up in Venice for her marriage to Giovanni, son of the Pietro Orseolo II, the Doge of Venice, with a case of golden forks—and then proceeded to use them at the wedding feast. They weren’t exactly a hit. She was roundly condemned by the local clergy for her decadence, with one going so far as to say, “God in his wisdom has provided man with natural forks—his fingers. Therefore it is an insult to him to substitute artificial metal forks for them when eating.”
When Argyropoulina died of the plague two years later, Saint Peter Damian, with ill-concealed satisfaction, suggested that it was God’s punishment for her lavish ways. “Nor did she deign to touch her food with her fingers, but would command her eunuchs to cut it up into small pieces, which she would impale on a certain golden instrument with two prongs and thus carry to her mouth. . . . this woman’s vanity was hateful to Almighty God; and so, unmistakably, did He take his revenge. For He raised over her the sword of His divine justice, so that her whole body did putrefy and all her limbs began to wither.”
Doomed by God for using a fork. Life was harsh in the 11th century.



  1. Excellent page. You forgot the original cutlery... fingers. ;) And I like the trike... precursor to fork.

    1. Thank you, Kate. Yes, I did think of fingers, but wasn't sure if they could be called cutlery. It was fun researching the variations and finding out how controversial the fork was!

  2. Love the excellent detail on the cutlery! It is much more exciting to see a sketch of the tools than just fingers. :)

    1. Thank you, Joan. I went for the 1965 illustration style, similar to the famous illustration of the "March of Progress".