This object is currently on display in room 202 as part of Plastics. There are 4 other images of this object. This image is in the public domain (free of copyright restrictions), and as such we offer a high-resolution image of it. See our image rights statement.


Object Timeline



  • We acquired this object.





  • You found it!

Folding Spoon (Germany)

This is a Folding spoon. We acquired it in 1903. Its medium is carved, heated and shaped horn, silver (hinge); leather, paper (case). It is a part of the Product Design and Decorative Arts department.

Portable eating utensils were considered refined accessories among the elite before full cutlery sets were commonplace in homes or inns. Diners would travel with their own implements. Spoons made of animal horn, such as this one, were durable and easy to clean. To achieve the shape, the horn was split into sheets and heated until malleable, then cut and molded into the desired form, which could be hinged for folding and further embellished with carved decoration. A goat with long curved horns decorates the tip of this spoon's handle.

This object was donated by Samuel P. Avery.

Cite this object as

Folding Spoon (Germany); carved, heated and shaped horn, silver (hinge); leather, paper (case); 1903-1-39-a/c

In addition to Plastics, this object was previously on display as part of the exhibition Feeding Desire: Design and the Tools of the Table, 1500-2005.

This image is in the public domain (free of copyright restrictions). You can copy, modify, and distribute this work without contacting the Smithsonian. For more information, visit the Smithsonian’s Terms of Use page.

If you would like to cite this object in a Wikipedia article please use the following template:

<ref name=CH>{{cite web |url= |title=Folding Spoon (Germany) |author=Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum |accessdate=28 January 2021 |publisher=Smithsonian Institution}}</ref>