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Miniature Spoon

ca. 1740 (made)
Artist/Maker
Place Of Origin

This miniature spoon is a toy. The term toy included any knick-knack or fashionable trinket for adults, as well as a child’s plaything. Silver toys like this one copied the exact details and proportions of normal sized pieces and came in a variety of subjects and sizes, ranging from domestic utensils to elaborate furniture.

There are several explanations for them. They might have been intended to furnish dolls’ houses. They might have been miniature trade samples. They might have been practice pieces for apprentices. They might have been fashionable novelties for adults to collect or they might simply have been playthings for rich children. In 1571, the daughter of Henry II of France ordered a set of small silver ‘pots, bowls, plates and other articles’ to give to a royal child.

The high point of production in London was the period 1700-1750. Because they were light and small, silver toys are not fully hallmarked. The form of the maker’s or retailer’s mark helps to date them.


object details
Categories
Object Type
Materials and Techniques
Silver
Brief Description
Silver, London, ca.1740
Physical Description
Silver, oval bowl stamped with a shell, round ended, turned up handle
Dimensions
  • Length: 2.625in
  • Width: 0.25in
Marks and Inscriptions
Mark indecipherable
Credit line
Bequeathed by Denton Welch
Subject depicted
Summary
This miniature spoon is a toy. The term toy included any knick-knack or fashionable trinket for adults, as well as a child’s plaything. Silver toys like this one copied the exact details and proportions of normal sized pieces and came in a variety of subjects and sizes, ranging from domestic utensils to elaborate furniture.



There are several explanations for them. They might have been intended to furnish dolls’ houses. They might have been miniature trade samples. They might have been practice pieces for apprentices. They might have been fashionable novelties for adults to collect or they might simply have been playthings for rich children. In 1571, the daughter of Henry II of France ordered a set of small silver ‘pots, bowls, plates and other articles’ to give to a royal child.



The high point of production in London was the period 1700-1750. Because they were light and small, silver toys are not fully hallmarked. The form of the maker’s or retailer’s mark helps to date them.
Collection
Accession Number
M.50-1949

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record createdNovember 13, 2004
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