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  • Place of origin:

    London (made)

  • Date:

    1776-1777 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Bateman, Hester (sponsor)

  • Materials and Techniques:


  • Credit Line:

    Given by Mr R. A. Kirby.

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

The records of the London goldsmiths' Garrard for 1760 include customer orders for spoons and forks which are described as 'turn'd back'. This is almost certainly a reference to pieces like this, in which the finial turns back or down so that they can be laid on the table with the bowl or tines uppermost (as we would set them on the table today). Turned back finials are unlike the French patterns which English goldsmiths imitated during the second half of the eighteenth century, and consequently this distinctive style has come to be known as 'Old English'. This is one of a group of five spoons in the V&A by Hester Bateman which have been gilded and engraved in this way in the nineteenth century in order to form a distinctive set. All were presented to the Museum in March 1910 by Mr R. A. Kirby of 2a Dryburgh Road, Putney.

Physical description

spoon, old English pattern with a single drop, interior of bowl gilded, and wrigglework pattern along the edge of the handle. Gilding and wrigglework probably later (nineteenth century) embellishments.

Place of Origin

London (made)


1776-1777 (made)


Bateman, Hester (sponsor)

Materials and Techniques


Marks and inscriptions

On back of stem, L to R:
'a', date letter for London assay year 1776-1777; leopard's head crowned, the mark of the London assay office; lion passant, the mark for sterling standard silver; maker's mark 'HB', initials of Hester Bateman (see Grimwade 960).

Initial 'H' in Gothic letter engraved on finial, not contemporary with spoon and probably added in the nineteenth century.


Length: 21.5 cm, Weight: 70 g

Descriptive line

Silver and gilded silver, English, London, 1776-1777, mark of Hester Bateman.

Bibliographic References (Citation, Note/Abstract, NAL no)

Grimwade, Arthur G.. London Goldsmiths 1697-1837. Their Marks and Lives. 1st edn. London: Faber and Faber, 1976.
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


Sterling silver


Metalwork Collection

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