29 Dec2014

P1050132

Single use sterling silver utensil warning. Do not read further if you can’t handle the post. Sister gave Mrs. MM these six sterling silver fruit/berry serving spoons as a gift a while back. We have not had an occasion to use them but I remembered to take them out of storage this Christmas season and vowed to use them. Mrs. MM and I don’t know much about silver, but with some research looking up the hallmarks on the pieces, it seems that at least four of the spoons were manufactured by Thomas Wallis & Jonathan Hayne (same hallmark, possibly 1811) and the other two, while having the same design pattern (could it be that of the buyer?), but have a different hallmark (Stephen Adams, 1801) and appear to weigh just a bit more (3-4 grams more)… Hmmm, not sure what that means, but if I had to make up a story, the house/owner of the silver had the pattern made by two different manufacturers in the early 1800’s, perhaps to complete their set or maybe to make up for a few spoons that were stolen by the footman or inadvertently thrown out with the garbage.

P1050133

Weighty at 58-64 grams each, they have their original gold wash or gilding in good shape, this presumably because the fruit spoons would come in contact with acidic fruit and hence react with the silver. They are definitely from another era, but it was nice to use them with a bowl of strawberries and mangoes that we served as a light dessert at our Christmas Eve meal.

P1050247

I hope to make at least one trifle before the holiday season is over and that would be another appropriate use for the spoons. If you look at the spoons in the photos closely, they have different fruits or combinations of fruit on each spoon, with pineapples, melons, berries etc. Handmade and definitely small works of art, they hark back to an era even BEFORE Downton Abbey… :) Sister, please chime in if I have gotten this all wrong.

 

COMMENTS:

  1. Khew says:

    You need to get apostle spoons – the ones with 3D images at the ends – for your coffee and tea.

    Dec 29, 2014 | 5:38 pm

     
  2. Angelo says:

    Nice spoons. Question though—won’t the fruit acids react to the silver and tarnish it?

    Dec 29, 2014 | 7:48 pm

     
  3. Khew says:

    Actually, all this tarnishing stuff borders on myth. In fact, the acids would actually help to clean the silver! Oxygen, salt and sulfuric gasses are the real enemies. Gilding and mother of pearl are for the benefit of the food – acidic (fruit), highly salted (caviar), sulfuric (onions), which you don’t want getting off tastes from the silver.

    Dec 29, 2014 | 8:18 pm

     
  4. sister says:

    Good detective work, you’ve got it right. Four of them were purchased together and the other two in a separate lot. There is one more spoon here that somehow got separated from those.

    Yes, we have apostle serving spoons, larger than coffee spoons even older than the berry spoons.

    Dec 29, 2014 | 9:28 pm

     
  5. EbbaBlue says:

    Your table cover design looks like faces of the Ati Atihan.

    Dec 29, 2014 | 10:43 pm

     
  6. Dreaming! says:

    What can I say, pure elegance!

    Dec 30, 2014 | 10:12 am

     
  7. Eileen C says:

    I dreamt that 1 spoon is part of your Christmas raffle….. :)

    Dec 31, 2014 | 5:41 pm

     
  8. Junb says:

    if my parents own one of them it will stay in the cabinet as a display :)

    Jan 3, 2015 | 10:48 pm

     
  9. sister says:

    Table top should be used, as often as possible, and not placed in a cabinet for display. Who are you saving it for? Use your silver, china, crystal, and linen as often as possible and enjoy it.

    Jan 5, 2015 | 8:09 am

     
 

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