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Author Topic:   Opinions on this piece, please.....
dragonflywink

Posts: 971
Registered: Dec 2002

iconnumber posted 03-12-2009 04:04 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for dragonflywink     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Please forgive the posting of a spoon in the Jewelry forum, but there is a reason:

This wonderful plique-a-jour dragonfly spoon is unmarked other than a small 800 in the bowl, have never seen a piece quite like it. Have, however noticed a striking resemblance to several Meyle & Meyer of Pforzheim dragonfly brooches, similar in the construction of the wings, head, cabochon eyes, even the legs (always 4 rather than 6). If anyone is familiar with the brooches - am I wrong in seeing the similarities and has anyone seen pieces other than jewelry by this maker? Perhaps the similarity is not as strong as I think, or perhaps another maker based this spoon on Meyle & Meyer designs, or worked for them at some point?

~Cheryl

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Paul Lemieux

Posts: 1758
Registered: Apr 2000

iconnumber posted 03-12-2009 05:50 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Paul Lemieux     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Cheryl,
What a wonderful piece. Thanks for sharing!
I have never seen anything but jewelry by Meyle and Meyer. I have a feeling this is not by them, although it is certainly stylistically similar to some of their work.

This is not the first lovely old German enamel spoon I have seen without a signature frown

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jersey

Posts: 1203
Registered: Feb 2005

iconnumber posted 03-12-2009 07:41 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for jersey     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Hi Cheryl!

Just a super piece!

Does the elongated top part come off so it may be a pin of some sort?

Jersey

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bascall

Posts: 1626
Registered: Nov 99

iconnumber posted 03-12-2009 08:05 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for bascall     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The eyes have it!

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dragonflywink

Posts: 971
Registered: Dec 2002

iconnumber posted 03-12-2009 10:15 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for dragonflywink     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Heh - bascall, those ruby-red eyes are less than a millimeter in diameter, they pale when it's held to the light and the lovely transparent grass-green of the wings is revealed. The spoon is only 4-1/2" long, with the dragonfly's wingspan at 1-1/8" - suspect it was pretty flashy when the gilding was still bright on the bug and bowl.

Paul - have to say that my feeling is also that it's most likely not by M&M, but just find the similarities so striking. It's one of those small treasures I can't imagine ever parting with.

Jersey - if you mean the cattail head, it's stationary, see no indication that this ever intended as anything other than a decorative/souvenir spoon. The body is attached by a post/rivet in a small tube on the stem, it actually has a little leeway and can be repositioned by about 1/4" (surely unintentional, but I like that I can play with it).

~Cheryl

[This message has been edited by dragonflywink (edited 03-12-2009).]

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Paul Lemieux

Posts: 1758
Registered: Apr 2000

iconnumber posted 03-12-2009 11:13 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Paul Lemieux     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I love your taste in silver, Cheryl, and you always come up with interesting items to post.

Just a thought...since this spoon does not have any kind of souvenir inscription (such as a city name engraved in the bowl), I would guess it was sold as a coffee spoon possibly in a set of 6 or 12, perhaps each having a different motif. Imagine a dozen of these spoons each with a different plique-a-jour insect! eek

[This message has been edited by Paul Lemieux (edited 03-12-2009).]

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dragonflywink

Posts: 971
Registered: Dec 2002

iconnumber posted 03-13-2009 12:10 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for dragonflywink     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Thanks, Paul! Have actually sold off many of my finer pieces over the years, simply because they didn't "speak" to me (and, ummm, the mortgage needed to paid), probably the only one I slightly regret was a Gorham mixed metal dish with a sweet little bronze mouse, assumed that I'd run across one I liked better and could afford.... rolleyes

Naturally, I find your taste in silver exceptional. And I certainly had thought that this might not be a souvenir, but hadn't thought of a set of different crawlies - just makes your bug-lovin' heart pound - doesn't it? wink

~Cheryl

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Polly

Posts: 1910
Registered: Nov 2004

iconnumber posted 03-13-2009 12:21 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Polly     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Cheryl, what a glorious spoon!

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jersey

Posts: 1203
Registered: Feb 2005

iconnumber posted 03-13-2009 01:13 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for jersey     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Hi Cheryl!

What it brings to mind is that I have seen many dragonfly spoons to be given to a child as a Christening gift. That said, it appears similar to an old Roman spoon called the Corinium Christening spoon. It too has a pointed end. I found it in the book Spoons from Around the World. Of course it does not have is the added insect. Supposedly the pointed end was to pierce an egg to release evil spirits. Personally I don't quite get the connection, but that's what they say.

Jersey

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dragonflywink

Posts: 971
Registered: Dec 2002

iconnumber posted 03-13-2009 03:00 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for dragonflywink     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Jersey, I love your enthusiasm, but suspect you're reading too much into what is just a demitasse spoon of uncommon design, the top of the spoon is nothing more than a cattail head. I actually find very few spoons with a dragonfly as the central motif, seems much easier to find on other forms of silver and silverplate - though there are some contemporary makers producing some pretty baby spoons. The Corinium Christening spoon in the book is a replica of an ancient Roman spoon found at Corinium (now Cirencester) in England, thought to be a gift on the birth of a child, with a Chi-Rho symbol engraving indicating that the recipient had been baptized as a Christian. The uses for the spoon had nothing to do with the "Christening" connotation.

~Cheryl

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jersey

Posts: 1203
Registered: Feb 2005

iconnumber posted 03-13-2009 04:53 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for jersey     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Cheryl!

Sometimes I just get carried away.............Hockey madness is on my brain.

Jersey

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Paul Lemieux

Posts: 1758
Registered: Apr 2000

iconnumber posted 03-13-2009 08:15 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Paul Lemieux     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
If anybody has access to the book Bestecke des Jugendstil (about German flatware from the early 20C), perhaps there is a similar example in there with the maker identified. I don't have access to my copy now.

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Cheryl and Richard

Posts: 154
Registered: May 99

iconnumber posted 03-15-2009 07:56 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Cheryl and Richard     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
That is indeed a wonderful piece.

Following Paul's suggestion, we looked in the Sanger book, but did not find it. So we turned to Klaus Marquardt's Europaisches EBbesteck and there is a small ladle with a similar, but not identical, cattail, that is identified as London, 1872.

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dragonflywink

Posts: 971
Registered: Dec 2002

iconnumber posted 04-04-2009 12:52 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for dragonflywink     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Cheryl and Richard - Thank you for checking your references, very much appreciated! Suspect my little dragonfly will remain a mystery.....

~Cheryl

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dragonflywink

Posts: 971
Registered: Dec 2002

iconnumber posted 03-15-2011 10:44 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for dragonflywink     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
After seeing a couple of Meyle & Mayer dragonflies with very similar construction and decoration, sent off an email to a specialist in late 19th-early 20th century European jewelry who kindly responded, "I think the dragonfly was probably made by Meyle & Mayer - sometimes the mark is tiny & may be hidden by the join. Very pretty piece."

Regardless of whether made by Meyle & Mayer or not, it is still the favorite piece in my spoon collection - but was nice to know that my suspicions were most likely correct. Woo-hoo!

~Cheryl

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Ulysses Dietz
Moderator

Posts: 1265
Registered: May 99

iconnumber posted 03-16-2011 03:43 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Ulysses Dietz     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Cheryl, I'm afraid I'll have to confiscate that spoon for the sake of mankind. Just leave it in your mailbox and I'll pick it up.

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dragonflywink

Posts: 971
Registered: Dec 2002

iconnumber posted 03-16-2011 07:28 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for dragonflywink     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Hehe, sorry Ulysses, believe I'll selfishly hang onto it, despite any risk to mankind.....However - should I change my mind and leave it in my mailbox for you eek, you would have to take time to visit the newly opened Tiffany Wing in our local Morse Museum (which has always been primarily devoted to L.C.T.). Took my 85 year old Mom to see it this afternoon, and found it to be very nicely done, wish we could have stayed a bit longer, but she's not getting around too well at the moment, will have the first of her knee replacements next month. As with every visit, end up wondering why I don't go more often, always taking it for granted because it's so close to home. The Morse is such a gem, filled with items that particularly appeal my own tastes - especially after they installed the Tiffany Chapel from the Columbian Exhibition, a very serene and lovely room for quiet reflection.

The New Tiffany Wing at the Morse Museum

~Cheryl

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dragonflywink

Posts: 971
Registered: Dec 2002

iconnumber posted 03-09-2014 07:02 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for dragonflywink     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Apparently Meyle & Mayer did produce souvenir spoons:

~Cheryl

[This message has been edited by dragonflywink (edited 03-09-2014).]

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