The term filigree is derived from the Italian word Filigrana, which is originally from the Latin word filum, meaning a thread of wire and granum meaning a grain or bead. Various American silversmiths produced filigree decorated flatware during the late 1800's. One notable firm was the Dirksen Silver Filigree Co. of Freeport, Illinois. Founded by Garrit Dirksen, a German silversmith who came to America about 1844, and operated a small shop from the from the early 1880's until 1905. He purchased sterling pieces from various manufacturers for his shop. This item, from a Freeport, Illinois estate, is not marked but was undoubtedly created by the Dirksen Co.
This beautiful lettuce fork measures 8" in length, with a delicate pierced filigree handle. The fork is marked 925 over sterling over 1000. Near mint condition with no filigree damage.