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Marrow scoop

Marrow scoop

  • Place of origin:

    London (made)

  • Date:

    1748-1749 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Wirgman, John (maker)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Silver, forged

  • Museum number:

    144-1903

  • Gallery location:

    British Galleries, Room 52a, case 3

Object Type
The marrow scoop was one of a number of utensils designed to serve and eat marrow, the jelly from beef bones. The savoury fattiness of marrow was highly prized and with the refinement of table manners in the 17th century new implements evolved for eating it more elegantly. Marrow scoops were made in large numbers in the 18th and 19th centuries. In Victorian Edinburgh, for example, enthusiasts met at the Marrow Bone Club and each member had a heavy silver scoop ornamented with marrow bones.

Design & Designing
The first utensil specifically designed for eating bone marrow was the marrow spoon. It was developed in the 1680s and had a spoon-shaped bowl with the handle formed as a scoop to extract the marrow. The marrow scoop evolved from this spoon design in the early 18th century. At least one marrow fork from the same period has also survived.

The marrow scoop was made in two forms. The first was a single-ended scoop with one narrow channel and a handle; this was easier to hold. The second was the double-ended scoop, as here, where the unequal width of the channel enabled marrow to be extracted from large and small bones. Early pieces were broader and smaller than the elegant, elongated scoops of the mid and late 18th century. In the next century they were often made to match the rest of the cutlery service.

Physical description

Marrow scoop of silver. A broad and narrow scoop joined by a plain stem.

Place of Origin

London (made)

Date

1748-1749 (made)

Artist/maker

Wirgman, John (maker)

Materials and Techniques

Silver, forged

Marks and inscriptions

London hallmarks for 1748-49

Mark of John Wirgman (?)

Dimensions

Length: 22.2 cm, Width: 2.5 cm

Object history note

Possibly made by John Wirgman (active about 1740 - 1770), The Strand, London
Made in London

Descriptive line

Silver, London hallmarks for 1748-1749, possibly made by John Wirgman.

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

Ian Pickford, Silver Flatware, English, Irish and Scottish, 1660-1980, Woodbridge, Antique Collectors; Club, 1983. ISBN. 0907462359

Materials

Silver

Techniques

Forging

Categories

Eating; Tableware & cutlery

Collection

Metalwork Collection

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