It’s amazing how many funny contraptions the Victorians had… everything from ice cream forks, to asparagus tongs, to specialized utensils for myriad foods.
Today, I found a new piece – a newspaper opener. God forbid that you get that nasty ink from the paper on your hands (New York Times, I am talking to YOU!). I think that one of my great-aunts had someone iron her newspaper. This simple little contraption allows you to flip the page and then smooth it down, without ever touching it. Most of the newspaper openers are about a foot long and have a handle and a blade-type end. This one is silver and ivory. This one is carved ivory at one with a silver ferrule in the middle. Another silver and ivory newspaper opener. The ivory on this one looks a little damaged. I liked this one made from olive wood and shagreen, which is shark’s skin. Another elaborately handled opener.
This one has a fox’s head on it, and is marked Foxcroft. It’s up for auction this weekend at Alex Cooper in Baltimore.
I am endlessly fascinated by auction sites, and try to attend when I can. You always learn something!