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Spoon

  • Place of origin:

    Norway (made)

  • Date:

    1800-1900 (made)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Hardwood, possibly beech, carved.

  • Credit Line:

    Given by Miss Henrietta Close

  • Museum number:

    W.22-1925

  • Gallery location:

    Europe 1600-1815, Room 1, case CA4

Folk crafts persisted in the isolated rural farms across Norway, where spoons made of wood or horn were a daily necessity and skills were passed down the generations. Spoons with detailed carving on the handle such as this might have been carved at home as gifts or purchased from professional carvers. This example has the floral and scrolling decoration influenced by the Baroque style, which became embedded in the Norwegian folk tradition. Wide-bowled spoons were a traditional shape for eating porridge or gruel, although only the tip of the spoon was used. A Norwegian saying was that one would become a 'big-mouth' or 'loud-mouth' from eating with a wooden spoon.

Physical description

A large-bowled wooden spoon with a short upward-curving handle, carved and pierced with flowers and scrolls.

Place of Origin

Norway (made)

Date

1800-1900 (made)

Materials and Techniques

Hardwood, possibly beech, carved.

Object history note

The spoon was probably made in mid-Norway, between 1800 and 1900.

It was given to the Museum by Miss Henrietta Close OBE, who donated a collection of Norwegian items (W.70 to 76-1921 and Circ. 189 to 194-1921). Her mother, Mrs Ellinor C.L. Close, had earlier given a set of Norwegian bridalwear collected by her husband in Norway in the 1880s.

Historical context note

Spoons with large bowls like this were for eating porridge or gruel and only the end or tip was intended to be used. Spoons for everyday use were carved with a design on the handle, and those for special occasions such as weddings were frequently incised with patterns inside the bowl.

Descriptive line

Norwegian 1800-1900

Materials

Beech

Techniques

Carving

Categories

Folk Art; Food vessels & Tableware

Collection

Furniture and Woodwork Collection

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