Spoon thumbnail 1
Spoon thumbnail 2
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Not currently on display at the V&A

Spoon

1732-1733 (made)
Artist/Maker
Place Of Origin

This spoon is a typical example of a type popular across Europe in the first decade of the eighteenth century until about 1770. The style emerged in England in around 1710, and has become known as 'Hanoverian' because it was popular during the reigns of the first two Hanoverian monarchs (George I and George II), who ruled between 1714-1760. The drop at the heel of this example (where the stem joins the bowl) is characteristic of spoons made after around 1730. The finial of the spoon has been designed so that the spoon can be placed on the table with its open bowl down (the opposite of how it would be set on the table today) and this is why the initials of the original owner are engraved on what we would now think of as the back of the spoon. This arrangement followed French fashions, which had developed at the end of the seventeenth century. The three initials pricked on the back are almost certainly those of a husband and his wife. The top initial is the man's family name; the two letters below are the initials of the first name of the husband and wife.


object details
Categories
Object Type
Materials and Techniques
Silver, forged and engraved
Brief Description
Silver, English, London, 1732-33, mark ?P with a device above, unidentified.
Physical Description
Spoon, silver, Hanoverian pattern with a single drop, a triad of initials 'B' over 'R * A' engraved on the finial.
Dimensions
  • Tip of bowl to tip of finial length: 17.5cm
  • Weight: 31.3g
Marks and Inscriptions
  • (Unidentified)
  • Engraved on the finial with a triad of initials 'B' over 'R * A'
  • On back of spoon stem, L to R from bowl: Leopard's head, mark of the London assay office; letter 'R' in a shaped shield, date letter for the assay year 1732-33; lion passant, the sterling silver mark; worn maker's mark in a shaped punch, initial 'P' legible.
Credit line
Gift of J.H. Fitzhenry
Subject depicted
Summary
This spoon is a typical example of a type popular across Europe in the first decade of the eighteenth century until about 1770. The style emerged in England in around 1710, and has become known as 'Hanoverian' because it was popular during the reigns of the first two Hanoverian monarchs (George I and George II), who ruled between 1714-1760. The drop at the heel of this example (where the stem joins the bowl) is characteristic of spoons made after around 1730. The finial of the spoon has been designed so that the spoon can be placed on the table with its open bowl down (the opposite of how it would be set on the table today) and this is why the initials of the original owner are engraved on what we would now think of as the back of the spoon. This arrangement followed French fashions, which had developed at the end of the seventeenth century. The three initials pricked on the back are almost certainly those of a husband and his wife. The top initial is the man's family name; the two letters below are the initials of the first name of the husband and wife.
Bibliographic References
  • Snodin, Michael. English Silver Spoons. London: Charles Letts, 1974. ISBN 850971101
  • Pickford, Ian. Silver Flatware. English, Irish and Scottish 1660-1980. Woodbridge, Suffolk: Antique Collectors' Club, 1983. ISBN 0907462359
Collection
Accession Number
125-1903

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record createdJune 24, 2009
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