Antique Silver Bon-Bon Server


There will be several posts in this on-going series “Marketman does New York 2007” that will feature what my sister refers to as “single use implements”… utensils or china bonbon2that are designed for a single purpose only. All of these would fall into a “non-essentials” category for most folks — but they are beautiful, useful for their intended purpose and often highly prized as collectors items. Along the lines of the silver grape scissors or the silver candle snuffer that I featured on this blog before, these luxuries are not for the utilitarian and practical minded only. If these posts seem frivolous to you, I suggest you just shake your head slightly and skip the posts altogether rather than getting all hot and bothered about them and firing off a nasty email to me. So what do we have here? A stunning 1870’s Tiffany & Company antique sterling silver bon-bon spoon or server. It is a medium sized spoon with a wide oval shape designed to pick up bon-bons, sweets, candies…

Knowing that The Kid would be in residence for a couple of weeks, her Tita put out several bowls of sweet goodies and had this bon bon spoon casually plunged into one of them. bonbon3A selection of minted chocolate discs like M&M’s but in pastel colours were in a thick Orrefors crystal bowl, while another bowl of the same design but slightly larger in size, contained some colorful jelly beans. I guess the idea is to use the bon bon spoon to scoop out a few sweets at a time rather than plunging directly into the bowl with your fingers to pluck out the ones you want. Not many people will have bon bon spoons in their arsenal of entertainment flatware or silverware but you have to admit, it’s a pretty cool idea. There was a time when silversmiths designed an incredible amount of “single use implements” to ensure that the owners of one castle could boast that they had more silver than the folks down the road in the next castle…

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16 Responses

  1. I get a kick at knowing there are utensils in the single-use implements category. Such as this, for instance…and one other—forks and knives for fish only. My German mother-in-law is particular about her table utensil-settings—both in the dining and living room area. She may have this kind of bonbon spoon too!

  2. I would like to know what silver cleaner/polisher your sister uses and considers as the best one in the market. Argentil seems to be the most popular, but leaves a residue most of the time.

  3. My wife and I received a Buccellati bonbon dish and server as a wedding present. The dish is in the shape of a single grape with leaves and a vine, while the server itself is a bunch of grapes. We have since added bonbon ware to our collection and are always on the lookout for exciting and intriguing pieces. Your sister’s server is exceptional.

  4. Hey MM! This is a great series and I look forward to the other items you will feature. I fell in love with that grape scissors you featured last time and now this, amazing! Very lovely indeed. Yes it may seem frivolous but who doesn’t want one or two frivolous items especially silver unique pieces. You have to share with me where your sister bought her unique pieces. Not only am I intrigued, I am now wanting to have one of this bon-bon spoon/server. I have a couple of Tiffany crystal bowls/candy dish that I received as housewarming present and I normally use them when we have company. Like your sister I fill them with candies and having this server especially when featuring non-individually wrapped candies is such a wonderful idea. It’s beautiful, elegant when paired with crystal and simply oozing with refinement and class. I love it! I hope I can afford it :-) Thanks for sharing this unique piece with us.

  5. How exquisite! I’ve never seen one of those. The silver spoon with the thick crystal and pastel candies is just gorgeous.

    Speaking of which, I LOVE those mint bonbons. Haven’t had them in many years, as I can’t seem to find them anywhere but in the US. But I used to buy them every chance I got, they were such a treat!

  6. Beautiful piece of antique silver server and crystal candy dishes. They go well together. Great way to serve miniature treats in hygienic and civilized manner!

  7. The bon-bon spoon pictured is Tiffany circa 1870 and the bowls are Orresfors, wedding gifts from 1973.The bon-bon spoons are available at antique silver dealers, auction houses or at Ebay is another source. I like to see what I’m getting so I buy at local auction houses like Christies, Doyle or Tepper. For those in the East coast of the US the silver show in Baltimore on Labor Day weekend is the biggest one of it’s kind in the US. As far as silver cleaner Twinkle or Hagerty’s works well, rinse after polishing, dry with a soft cloth. Don’t polish too often, you do lose a minute amount of silver every time. Do not use any of the intant dips.

  8. Wright’s silver creme does wonders for highly tarnished silver. Use only a small amount on a soft cloth and rub N_S or E-W, not in a circular direction to acquire good patina. Store silver in pacific ilvercloth or well washed old flannel and then in plastic bags, not in plastic directly. Or buy a box, which is another whole story.

  9. I live in HK and the only silver polish available is Christofle. Is there a website where I can order online and have these-polish, box, cloth- shipped? Thanks!

  10. Thanks MM. So that’s what this is for. I inherited some silver stuff from my parents and my grandparents but never new what they were used for. Now I know but I don’t think I’ll have any use for it soon. There’s this set of tiny silver bowls with tiny spoons – which I found out were mustard containers! Geez, talk about single use implements.

  11. sleek! so that’s what its called and used for! hehe. my grandfather collects antique and he has a few pieces i always referred to as the “oval spoons”.

    learned something new today, thanks MM!

  12. Really cool! C’mon MM, forget “that lady”. She’s not worth remembering at all. There are legions of us who enjoy your blog. I myself fall under the practical utilitarian category, but I do enjoy knowing and reading about these nice, elegant, classy stuff. (Everyone has their own frivolity I suppose. To each his own.) Keep ’em coming!

  13. I like practical and utilitarian implements like this spoon/server, it beats dirty hands digging into a bowl of candies. This is of course utilitarian with style.

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