Antique Silver Spoons
Antique silver spoons are the oldest type of flatware, and their origins can be dated back to Ancient Rome.
Brief history and description
Some of the earliest surviving silver spoons include Apostle spoons (circa 15th century) which were produced in sets of 13 to resemble the 12 Apostles and Christ (also known as the large "master" spoon), each of which featured small busts at the end of the stems.
Tea spoons were first introduced during the 17th century, and by the 1680s the shape of spoons typically featured shallower bowls and trefoil ends. Some of the many other types of spoon shapes which were invented during this period include cream soup spoons, sorbet spoons, dessert spoons, berry spoons, salt spoons and tablespoons, to name a few.
Guide for collectors
Antique spoons should be kept inside of their containers as much as possible. Spoons featuring engravings and etchings tend to tarnish at a much faster rate than spoons without engravings and etchings, and should be polished with products such as Silver Lightning, Metallux or Tarn-X.
Any spoon manufactured by The Whiting Manufacturing Company holds the mark of a four-legged animal with one leg on top of the letter "W" inside of a circle.
Some of the many online resources for collectors include the silver-collector's official website and the Online Encyclopedia of American Silver Marks' website. Silversmithing's official website was founded specifically for silversmiths and collectors, and Silvermine's website also has information regarding British silver items and hallmarks.
Sotheby's in New York sold a Byzantine silver spoon (circa 6th or 7th century A.D.; 9.25" in length; 79.16 g in weight) featuring a tear-shaped bowl, Greek letters and a Maltese cross for $5,700 in May of 2004.
Antique Place in Hallandale, Florida sold a set of six Russian silver and enamelled spoons (each 4" in length) with the original case for $550 in February of 2010.
Case Antiques, Inc. in Knoxville, Tennessee sold a set of five Tennessee silver spoons (circa early 1800s; 6.5" in length) marked as "E. Raworth" for $1,600 in September of 2007.
Time & Again Auction Gallery in Linden, New Jersey sold an antique Tiffany & Co. sterling silver baby spoon for $200 in January of 2007.
William J. Jenack Auctioneers in Chester, New York sold an antique Islamic silver spoon (6" in length) for $75 in November of 2008.
Stanton Auctions in Hampden, MA sold a lot of two coin silver spoons for $20 in April of 2009.