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  • Place of origin:

    London (probably, made)

  • Date:

    ca. 1750 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Ebenezer Coker (maker)

  • Materials and Techniques:


  • Credit Line:

    Given by Miss Marjorie Ball

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    British Galleries, Room 52b, case 1

Object Type
Tea was imported into Britain from the early 17th century, but became fashionable only after the Restoration of Charles II in 1660. Catherine of Braganza, Charles's Portuguese wife, had a particular passion for tea and did much to popularise it. Tea was originally drunk in the Chinese manner, weak and without milk, but by the early 18th century sugar and milk were added and small spoons became necessary. After 1740, sets of matching tea spoons started to become available.

Social Usage
Tea spoons were part of the ritual of the tea table. They could be used to signal to the hostess when the guest had drunk his fill. The Prince of Broglie in 1782 reported that 'I partook of the most excellent tea and I should be even now still drinking it, I believe, if the Ambassador had not charitably notified me at the twelfth cup that I must put my spoon across it when I wished to finish with this sort of warm water'.

Design & Designing
This spoon shows the Hanoverian pattern, which was popular between 1710 and 1760. Until 1760, the end of the stem would curve upwards, in the same direction as the bowl, and spoons were usually laid on the table face down. From 1760 onwards, the stem curves downwards and the spoon is laid face up on the table

Place of Origin

London (probably, made)


ca. 1750 (made)


Ebenezer Coker (maker)

Materials and Techniques


Marks and inscriptions

Engraved on the stem 'E/BR'


Width: 2.5 cm, Length: 12 cm

Object history note

Probably made in London by Ebenezer Coker (died in 1783)

Labels and date

British Galleries:

Spoon-making was a specialist branch of goldsmithing. The design of spoons for specific uses, such as these silver teaspoons, began in the late 17th century. Until about 1750, tables were laid with the reverse of the spoon uppermost, so that decoration on the back would be prominently displayed. [27/03/2003]


Metalwork; Tea, Coffee & Chocolate wares


Metalwork Collection

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