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tline3open  Type of spoon? Mercury , Hermes Design.

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Author Topic:   Type of spoon? Mercury , Hermes Design.
joe Bruce

Posts: 20
Registered: Jun 2006

iconnumber posted 10-14-2006 10:46 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for joe Bruce     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote


Let me start by introducing myself, My name is Joseph Bruce and I live in the Detroit area. I have been collecting English 18th and 19th C. Silver for 20 years. I personally collect presentation pieces, such as ceremonial trowels (generally made of silver and ivory), engraved and given for the laying of the first cornerstone of Churches and such, also highly ornate Victorian pieces and I also dabble in French and Russian smalls. I am a dealer of a variety of antiques from silver, to OOP books on antiques and art.

This silver spoon shown here was found at an old Grosse Pointe Michigan estate, When I saw it I got very excited,especially when I took a closer look and saw the detail! I plan on keeping this spoon in my personal collection because I have never seen another like it and I will enjoy it more than the money from it! It is curved Where the shaft meets the bowl, like it could rest upon something, I would like to know if anyone could tell me what this spoon was used for? It measures 9" long, weighing 80 grams and has the bust of Mercury (Hermes) and the 2 snakes. The only mark is "800".

Many thanks for any input!

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Posts: 1597
Registered: Mar 2003

iconnumber posted 10-16-2006 10:19 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Kimo     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Hi Joe.

Welcome to the forum and thanks for posting the nice photos of your spoon.

In the "Please Read Before You Post" page we always ask new folks here to offer a bit of information about their general interest in silver and their particular interest in the silver about which they are asking. I see you are an antique dealer - is this spoon something in your personal collection or is it in your inventory? If you could add some information like this to your post it can help get a response from the nice folks here.

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Ulysses Dietz

Posts: 1265
Registered: May 99

iconnumber posted 10-17-2006 01:53 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Ulysses Dietz     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
My gut reaction (aside from Wow--what a cool spoon!) is that it is a replica of something ancient (either extant or imagined). The caduceus of Hermes, which is what the finial is, has long been associated with the medical profession (although I just found in researching the spelling that it is also confused with the snake-bound staff of Asclepius, which is the REAL symbol of medicine). So my first thought was a medicine spoon--but it's way too big. I'll stick with the guess that it's a 19th-century replica of something supposedly ancient. In any case, it's very interesting and great looking. Any marks?

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Posts: 963
Registered: Jul 2004

iconnumber posted 10-17-2006 02:07 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for tmockait     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The snake heads remind me of the AMA symbol. Any chance this is some sort of medicine spoon?


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Posts: 336
Registered: Jan 2005

iconnumber posted 10-17-2006 03:57 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for salmoned     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I'd venture a guess that this item contained the proverbial 'spoonful of sugar'! It would surprise me if it actually saw much use and was probably given as a gift, award or prize. Certainly something I'd like to present to my favorite doctor.

Upon further consideration, it just may have been used by a pharmacist to measure out powdered drugs onto a scale, tho it seems rather fancy (and large) for that purpose.

[This message has been edited by salmoned (edited 10-17-2006).]

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Scott Martin
Forum Master

Posts: 11377
Registered: Apr 93

iconnumber posted 10-17-2006 03:59 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Scott Martin     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Used when reading eye charts to cover one eye?

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Posts: 2920
Registered: May 2003

iconnumber posted 10-17-2006 04:15 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for swarter     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The bowl attachment is reminiscent of that used on old Roman spoons -- see an example at the end of the hoof spoon thread.

While a bit large, this is the sort of thing that could have been distributed as a banquet souvenir at a pharmaceutical or medical convention, or one more appropriate for the Hermes head, whatever that might be.

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joe Bruce

Posts: 20
Registered: Jun 2006

iconnumber posted 10-17-2006 06:56 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for joe Bruce     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Thank you! the 800 is the only hallmark.

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