Humans have been putting animal horns to good use for centuries. Civilizations spanning the globe have crafted everything from drinking vessels to powder flasks, buttons, glue, knife handles and musical instruments out of this strong, natural material. Valued for both its hardness and its thermoplastic properties, horn can be shaped and molded at certain high temperatures into a wide variety of items both practical and beautiful.
In 19th-century Denmark, spoons were often the only kind of cutlery used in rural areas. People would simply wipe down their spoons after a meal and hang them from the roof rafters. Though wooden spoons were the most common, spoons made from other materials including horn and metal became increasingly popular, thanks in part to one man from Denmark.
Captured during the Peninsular War in the early 1800s, he learned the art of making spoons from horn as a prisoner in England. Upon his return home, he began a small business producing a variety of handmade hornware, inspiring many fellow Danes to take up the craft.
Today, these horn salad servers are cut and polished by hand in a workshop in Denmark. The horns used in production come from Watussi and Ankole cows in Nigeria, Africa, as well as some Danish cattle. Each one carries a unique and inimitable display of color and texture. Polished by hand with the help of a machine to achieve ideal smoothness and luster, these elegant utensils are just the thing for serving up salads and pasta, and are truly beautiful and unique objects in their own right.
These horn salad servers should be cleaned after use using lukewarm running water without the addition of soap or solvents, and should be immediately dried using a soft cloth. They should never be placed in a dishwasher, or left to soak in a sink or tub, nor should they be allowed to rest for prolonged periods in fluids like jams or dressings. It is important to avoid leaving your horn items in direct sunlight or near heat sources.
Established 1935 in Denmark, the company that produces these salad servers is the only Danish arts and crafts company still using cattle horn for their products. The factory itself dates back to 1935, and the present workshop was built in 1947. From selecting the horn to shaping, sawing and giving the spoons a final polish, these servers are made by hand, using an 18-step method that has stood the test of time for over 200 years.
Set of two polished cattle horn utensils made for serving up pastas and salads. Each spoon measures 8.5 inches long with a 2.5 inch diameter bowl. Made by hand in a workshop in Denmark.
8.5 inches (21.6 cm) long
2.5 inches (6.35 cm) diameter bowl
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