8717
Antique Silver Trefid Spoon

Date: Circa 1680

Country: England

Stock Number: 8717

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A good antique sterling silver spoon with a trefid terminal and rat-tail bowl. Dessert size. The spoon has a very attractive hand hammered finish. Weight 36 grams, 1 troy ounces. Length 18.5 cms. Bowl 6x4.75 cms. Makers mark 'TA' within a shield. Circa 1700.

Literature: In Medieval times personal eating implements were highly prized. Knives were displayed on the person in an ornate sheath. Spoons were part of formal dress for all social classes. Guests were expected to bring their own cutlery to a meal.

Before the 18th century the only items of table silver made in any quantity were spoons. Silver forks are rare prior to the 18th century. It is unusual to find sets of table silver dating earlier than the late 18th century.

Signed/Inscribed: *Up the handle marks". On early examples of table silver when the silver marks were struck on the thin part of the stem they distorted the form of the piece and so the silversmith had to hammer this back into shape. That's why the hallmarks are often squashed and distorted and become more easily rubbed and worn. From c.1780 onwards the Assay Office stamped table silver near the top of the stem as opposed to on the stem just below the bowl, and hallmarks are generally much clearer because there is more space on which to strike them.

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