Captain John Proctor Luce (1827-69) was Captain of HMS Esk, which took part in the Maori wars New Zealand between 1845-1872.
He brought home with him a cardboard box which contained a carved and stained 11 ½in (29 cm) fork and carried the inscription: ‘Cannibal fork, has been used, brought home from Fiji, 1857 by Capt J.P.Luce H.M.S. Esk’
It’s just been sold, together with a 13 in (33 cm) ladle, at an auction in Britain, for £7,500 – substantially more than the estimate of £800-£1,600.
The ladle is damaged, probably caused by use: but we only have Luce’s word that the fork has been used.
Picture source: Sydney Parkinson via Wikimedia