Image of Gallery in South Kensington
On display at V&A South Kensington
British Galleries, Room 125b

Salt Spoon

ca. 1863 (made)
Artist/Maker
Place of origin

Object Type
Small condiment spoons for serving salt and mustard evolved gradually from about 1730 onwards. As more salt cellars for the use of individual guests appeared on dining tables, it was more polite and elegant for guests to use spoons rather than their fingers or the point of a knife to take salt and put it on their plates.

Design & Designing
Salt spoons, especially those made before the 19th century, can be shovel or shell-shaped. This salt spoon, however, is of a miniature ladle style with a wide, deep bowl and curved handle. The ladle style became popular from about 1780.

Manufacturer
The salt spoon was perhaps made by the manufacturers Samuel Roberts and Charles Belk of Sheffield, Yorkshire. One of the specialities of the firm was the production of spoons and forks.


Object details

Categories
Object type
Materials and techniques
Electroplated nickel silver
Brief description
Electroplated nickel silver salt spoon, possibly manufactured by Samuel Roberts and Charles Belk, Sheffield, ca. 1863.
Physical description
Spoon with rounded bowl on Fiddle pattern handle.
Dimensions
  • Length: 9.8cm
  • Width: 2.5cm
  • Height: 10mm
Dimensions checked: Measured; 27/06/2000 by ET
Marks and inscriptions
On back of handle: R&B in an oval, an Aladdin's lamp in a square, letter s in square, C or JP in square, A in shield.
Gallery label
British Galleries: SALT CELLARS AND SPOONS
Solid silver salt cellars feature in the Mappin Brothers catalogue of 1897. They came in sets of 4 or 6, including salt spoons, and were presented in a Morroco leather case. For a richly chased pattern, the price for a set of 4 was £4 15s (£4.75p), for a set of 6, £7. According to the cookery writer, Mrs Beeton, '....there should be a salt cellar between every two persons. Unless silver salt cellars are used, the glass ones should match the rest of the service. '(27/03/2003)
Credit line
Given by Helen Werner
Object history
Possibly manufactured by Samuel Roberts & Charles Belk, Sheffield
Summary
Object Type
Small condiment spoons for serving salt and mustard evolved gradually from about 1730 onwards. As more salt cellars for the use of individual guests appeared on dining tables, it was more polite and elegant for guests to use spoons rather than their fingers or the point of a knife to take salt and put it on their plates.

Design & Designing
Salt spoons, especially those made before the 19th century, can be shovel or shell-shaped. This salt spoon, however, is of a miniature ladle style with a wide, deep bowl and curved handle. The ladle style became popular from about 1780.

Manufacturer
The salt spoon was perhaps made by the manufacturers Samuel Roberts and Charles Belk of Sheffield, Yorkshire. One of the specialities of the firm was the production of spoons and forks.
Collection
Accession number
M.49-2000

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Record createdSeptember 21, 2000
Record URL
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