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A thin, pointed, instrument for removing particles of food lodged between the teeth. Examples made of gold or silver were popular in England during the Renaissance; some were enamelled or decorated with gemstones, and were worn suspended from a neck chain.
In Italy, where toothpicks are still widely used, very ornate examples have been made since the 15th century, sometimes having the head in the form of a mermaid or other figure. A German example, 16th century, is in the shape of a sickle. Some toothpicks have been made with an ear-pick at the end opposite the point, and some have a toothpick and an ear-pick joined by a swivel. Modern examples made of gold have the point retractable into a decorative case.
From: An Illustrated Dictionary of Jewelry, autor: Harold Newman, publishers: Thames and Hudson