Mystery Photo – Silver Tool

Mysterious Silver Tool

What is it? It is made of silver. It is quite old. it is about five inches long. Thoughts?

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About Walter Jeffries

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39 Responses to Mystery Photo – Silver Tool

  1. Lisa says:

    Is it something medical?

  2. Oh, I meant to say that my mother got it in a box of kitchen wares. The thought is it has something to do with food. Possibly pitting olives was one idea we tossed around the dinner table but it doesn’t seem quite right for that.

  3. rob says:

    Ok, this is ridiculous, I have been sitting here for 20 minutes trying to figure out what the heck this thing is. ;)

    Please let us know what it is if you figure it out or I may go nuts.

  4. Well, I have no idea, but I bet it’s interesting!

    BTW, are you ever going to tell us what the wooden frame was for from the 11/28 post?

  5. Beaker says:

    It looks like something used to eat oranges or grapefruit maybe? Scrape out a piece of the fruit? Does that upper half look like it might have been sharp-ish?

  6. Lisa says:

    I thought it looked like silverware but I couldn’t think what it might be used for.

    Maybe just for something decorative with food then.

  7. Rich says:

    Could it have something to do with honey, like a stirring and/or dipping implement?

  8. Yes, the implement is sharp on the upper edge.

    Rob, As soon as I know what this is I’ll post and answer. Sorry for driving you to the edge. :) Grab the knot on the end of the rope and hang on!

    Beaker, it is small enough that maybe a grapefruit seed would fit in the end. That’s an idea. Perhaps it is for cleaning the seeds out of an orange or grapefruit that has been sliced so that when it is served it does not have that indignation at fancy dining…

    The honey dip and decorator are also good ideas. If it was a decorator though I would think the inside would be solid but it is open.

    Michelle, news is forthcoming on the hexagon… But first it must realize its destiny. :)

  9. valereee says:

    What food would require you to extend your reach into a small space and scrape something out, and be worth having a special tool for?

    Bone marrow, maybe?

  10. Bone marrow was one of the ideas that got circulated at our dinner table when this object was passed around. My hesitation on that is that this is very ornate which implies to me that it is for use at the fancy table and not in the kitchen. Would they have been scraping bone marrow during dinner?

  11. Pumpkin man says:

    Could it have been used to cut a chunk of butter out of the old style butter tubs etc..??

  12. Interesting thought on the butter… The length of the hook-eye end is about 1 cm (3/8″), maybe a little less. Unfortunately it isn’t in my possession so I can’t take a new photograph with a ruler next to it to give a sense of scale.

  13. valereee says:

    Oh, yes, it might have been ornate, depending on the age of it. Here’s an example of a bone marrow tool.

    OTOH, I’m a little surprised it isn’t more of a spoon shape instead of a loop. But I guess a loop could be more useful, really.

  14. valereee says:

    I’m actually wondering if it might have been some sort of a brush. There seems to be a little lip, as if there were something inserted into the loop that rested on that lip.

  15. Mogsie says:

    it almost looks like it could hold brushy stuff ~ like a toothbrush?

    except for the spoonish type handle.


  16. Hmm… That looks like a very good candidate.

  17. That’s two votes for a brush but I don’t think so. The edge is quite sharp on the side that is up.

  18. Heidi says:

    A tooth brush that has lost its ‘brush’ part!! LOL

  19. LJB says:

    Perhaps something with which to daintily
    ‘carve’ a sliver of cantelope? I’m trying to channel my grandmother — I’m sure she would know!

  20. Peter says:

    I think you should send it to Cook’s Illustrated magazine – every issue has a feature dedicated to some old kitchen utensil that the submitter cannot identify…

  21. Evelyn says:

    From the handle I can tell that it is a piece of flatware. Looks like sterling? It look incomplete. Like the lip on the bottom held something. A small seasoning canister, to sprinkle curry (or whatever spice) on your food. I could see a table w/ a tray of tiny 'canisters' of various spices to fit into these.

    Beyond that… I'm at a loss. I'd send a pix of it to an antique flatware dealer & ask. As unusual as it is, it could be valuable.
    I did a search on unusual sterling flatware & came up w/ lots of hits.
    Surely a dealer would know. Be interesting to find out.

  22. Melanie says:

    My husband has a silver baby toothbrush that looks like this. The part with the bristles was plastic and snapped into the hole.

  23. Mogsie says:

    heh… scavenger hunt!!
    I still think that it is a tooth brush without its’ bristles.

  24. EJ says:

    Is it silver or silver plate?

  25. I’m not sure, perhaps my father and mother, who have it in their possession, can comment. I’ll email them.

  26. No doubt. Baby toothbrush missing insert. I used to have one around here somewhere……

  27. Mary says:

    i think it is missing an inserted piece too – and it sure looked like the baby toothbrush.

    Born with a silver toothbrush?

  28. valereee says:

    Maybe it’s some other sort of insert, though, if the edge is that sharp. You could insert a grate to strain or catch something, maybe?

  29. Another clue – My father emailed me:

    It is marked “sterling” but I do not find any other markings. You’ve had quite a response to that posting.

    So it is silver.

  30. Anonymous says:

    Citrus Peeler?

  31. lisa says:

    I have a similar looking thing in my kitchen, but it has wires running crosswise. Mine is a bean frencher.

  32. valereee says:

    I like the bean frencher idea, but sterling silver? I can’t imagine.

  33. Bill King says:

    I think it’s for tea time. For holding the sugar cube till it desolves.
    I can’t believe that someone would put a sharp object into thier mouth, even if it had bristles at one time.

  34. hiddenhollow says:

    Walt, I know this is an old post but I would like to know what the tool is. I hope you still check on these from time to time.

  35. The best guess seems to be a baby toothbrush. See the image at that link which someone provided above.

    Please do comment on old posts. All posts are active, new or old. That is the beauty of the web. Rather than being static and frozen in time like the books and magazines we used to publish years ago the web is dynamic, changing and always ready for new comments and edits as we understand things more deeply.

  36. maurice says:

    its a grapefruit segmenter

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