Sticking with our old friend, Chantilly by Gorham, for yet another example, we remind you that in the Chantilly pattern, there are two basic fork categories that are about 7.5 inches long - a "place" fork and a "dinner" fork (called "table" fork in early Gorham literature). The place fork is slightly narrower and lighter than the dinner fork. On the back of place forks in several patterns, Gorham imprints the letter, "P", inside a diamond shape.
The heavier dinner fork does not have any special marks regarding its size. Now, here's the rub, at least in the Chantilly pattern - Gorham has made at least two different dinner forks. Look at the picture below. The dinner fork on the bottom is the one we see most often. It has tines that are 2 inches long. The dinner fork on top has tines that are 2 3/8 inches long. Since both forks are 7.5 inches long overall, the top fork has a slightly shorter handle than the one on the bottom and the base area of the tines is also slightly shorter. The fork on top is about 1/16 inch wider than the one on the bottom.
So, if you are buying additional dinner forks, especially in the Chantilly pattern, make sure you understand how long the tines are. Most sellers, us included, will make sure that you know about it if the tines are 2 3/8 inches but we might not mention it if the tines are 2 inches. If it's not specified for some forks you're considering buying, ask the seller about it.
Here's another reminder - many sellers state in their ads that they are selling dinner forks when, in reality, they are selling luncheon forks, dessert forks or place forks. Always understand the overall length, width and tine length of forks you're considering. And, in the case of Gorham patterns, understand the distinction between place and dinner forks.
If you would like to see all our posts about forks at one time, look in the right column under "Labels" and click on "Forks".Click on any picture to see a larger version. By clicking on "Comments/Questions" below, you can see posted comments and add your own questions and comments. Or, you can send us an email by clicking on "Email Silver Jim" in the right column.