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  • Place of origin:

    England (made)

  • Date:

    1740 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Unknown (maker)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Carved boxwood

  • Credit Line:

    Given by Ms Hylda Mary Harrison

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    British Galleries, Room 52a, case 3

Object Type
Scoops are one of the oldest types of eating utensils. A scoop allowed anyone without teeth, young or old, to eat a raw apple. Apple scoops could also be used to remove the core of the apple. The earliest apple scoops were made from sheep bones. This scoop is made from boxwood.

Materials & Making
Bone or wooden scoops were often carved with patterns. More expensive scoops were made in ivory or had silver decoration. Apple scoops were suitable for making and carving by hand at home. This scoop is cleverly carved with patterns, a moving ball, a date and two sets of initials. It is made of boxwood which is a smooth-grained wood suitable for delicate carving.

Ownership & Use
Scoops were personal items and there was a superstition that it was unlucky for anyone other than the owner to use one. Many, like this one, have dates on them and were probably made as gifts. The initials on this one suggest that it might have given as a love or marriage token.

Physical description

Carved boxwood apple scoop, the top pierced in the form of a crown enclosing a moving ball. The shaft is decorated with chip carving and the lower part is incised with the initials, I.A., and W.C.

Place of Origin

England (made)


1740 (made)


Unknown (maker)

Materials and Techniques

Carved boxwood

Marks and inscriptions

Incised '1740', 'IA' and 'WC'.


Length: 15.2 cm, Width: 1.9 cm

Object history note


Descriptive line

Carved boxwood apple scoop, incised with initials and pierced at the top in the form of a crown enclosing a ball. English, 1740.


Boxwood; Wood






Furniture and Woodwork Collection

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