SMP Logo
SM Publications
Silver Salon Forums - The premier site for discussing Silver.
SMP | Silver Salon Forums | SSF - Guidelines | SSF - FAQ | Silver Sales

In this Forum we discuss the silver of the United Kingdom, as well as British Colonial silver and Old Sheffield Plate.

Past British - Irish Sterling topics/threads worth a look.

How to Post Photos

Want to be a Moderator?
customtitle open  SMP Silver Salon Forums
tlineopen  British / Irish Sterling
tline3open  Strainer Spoons

Post New Topic  Post A Reply
profile | register | preferences | faq | search

ForumFriend SSFFriend: Email This Page to Someone! next newest topic | next oldest topic
Author Topic:   Strainer Spoons
agphile

Posts: 798
Registered: Apr 2008

iconnumber posted 06-07-2014 05:48 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for agphile     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Now trying the next version of the photo hosting trial. Sorry for the variable quality of these pictures - just using photos that happen to be on this computer. I thought it might be mildly interesting to illustrate a few different strainer spoons.


Above is a mid 17th century strainer, slip top and without marks. Quite a hefty spoon. It is just under 14 inches long.


This one is by Thos and Wm Chawner, London, 1762. Not as big: 10.75 inches. On these types the strainer bit down the centre of thw bowl is sometimes removable, but not on this example.


This last example is Thos Chawner, London, 1772. Feather edge pattern - the feather edging continues along the bowl cover. It is 11.5 inches long.

I guess they all had slightly differing uses but when I attempt to theorise about this I notice a pitying look in my wife's eye. She is rightly convinced that I have no grasp of cookery.

[This message has been edited by agphile (edited 06-07-2014).]

IP: Logged

Polly

Posts: 1939
Registered: Nov 2004

iconnumber posted 06-07-2014 11:37 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Polly     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
How does your wife think they were used?

IP: Logged

agphile

Posts: 798
Registered: Apr 2008

iconnumber posted 06-07-2014 01:43 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for agphile     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Polly

I'll have to ask her. So far it has just been amusement at whatever explanation I offer. I'll come back to you.

David

IP: Logged

agphile

Posts: 798
Registered: Apr 2008

iconnumber posted 06-08-2014 03:25 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for agphile     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Polly

Sorry for the delay in coming back to you. My wife denies ever mocking my attempt to explain the use of straining spoons. Indeed, she denies ever having heard me attempt an explanation. I sometimes suspect that she just doesn’t pay attention because, for some reason, she does not fully understand the attraction of accumulating old spoons (even though she does profess to like some of them).

Be that as it may, we have now chatted about the use of straining spoons, recognising that neither of us knows enough about the food and serving practice of the time to be definitive. I think all the spoons were for dining room rather than kitchen use. I had originally assumed they were all versions of the so-called olive spoon, intended for straining meat or poultry “olives” from the liquid in which they had been cooked. However, in his book “The Albert Collection” Robin Butler only describes the bottom of the three spoons shown below as an olive spoon. The other two he calls straining spoons.

Nonetheless, we both think the top spoon shown here and the first spoon in my original post must have been used similarly for meat, dumplings or whatever, even if it was not for the fashionable “olives” of the 18th century.

However, the second spoon in my original post, with its central divider, was probably used differently. I have seen it said that its purpose was to skim the gravy and hold back the fat floating on top. That seems plausible to us.

The middle spoon here and the last one in my original post are intriguing. As it happens, they illustrate a point I was aware of: the half cover can occur on either side of the bowl. I have never done a count to try and establish whether one side was more popular. It seems to me unlikely that the 18th century was making special provision for left-handers. Perhaps there were different uses depending on whether it was the juice or the solid that was meant to be transferred to the plate. I actually find it hard to see a particular advantage to this design and would be happy to be educated if any forum member knows more..

David

IP: Logged

Polly

Posts: 1939
Registered: Nov 2004

iconnumber posted 06-08-2014 11:25 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Polly     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
David, your wife sounds a lot like my husband!

I have nothing very useful to add (except wouldn't melted fat flow through the holes?), but I look forward eagerly to reading others' contributions to the discussion.

IP: Logged

agphile

Posts: 798
Registered: Apr 2008

iconnumber posted 06-09-2014 04:13 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for agphile     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
You may be right about the fat, but the assumption was that there would have been time for it to cool and congeal a bit given the distance between kitchen and dining room and the longer time taken over dinner back then. Or were there perhaps other nasties to skim off?

IP: Logged

seaduck

Posts: 341
Registered: Dec 2006

iconnumber posted 06-10-2014 10:11 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for seaduck     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
agphile -- what are the lengths of the three spoons in your last post? Wondering how these strainer spoons are different from "mote" spoons....length? Are mote spoons a subset of strainer spoons?

IP: Logged

agphile

Posts: 798
Registered: Apr 2008

iconnumber posted 06-11-2014 03:41 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for agphile     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The sizes given in the book are, from top to bottom, 14.75 inches, 11.9 inches and 10.75 inches.

Interestingly, mote spoons were referred to as tea strainer spoons back in the 18th century.

IP: Logged

agphile

Posts: 798
Registered: Apr 2008

iconnumber posted 12-19-2015 12:49 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for agphile     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I am coming back to this topic because I have added another spoon to this sub-set of the collection, and this time with a detachable strainer.


12 inches long and by Abraham Barrier, London, 1775-80 (date letter worn, but Barrier entered this mark in 1775. The spoon is bottom marked and top marking was introduced in 1781).

It has made me realise something. I had assumed one reason for having a detachable strainer was economy. It allowed the spoon to be dual purpose. That might have been true in some cases, but not here. You will see that there is also a row of piercing in the bowl of the spoon. The complete ensemble will have been more expensive to make but restricted to the one use. The benefit is a matter of hygiene. It will have been much easier to clean properly. Of course, this may have been self-evident to everybody else, but I’m afraid the penny has been slow to drop for me.

IP: Logged

asheland

Posts: 925
Registered: Nov 2003

iconnumber posted 12-22-2015 10:50 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for asheland     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I like that example! Very nice.
Is the detachable piece hallmarked?
(just the lion passant)

IP: Logged

agphile

Posts: 798
Registered: Apr 2008

iconnumber posted 12-22-2015 12:16 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for agphile     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
No, it is not marked. I assume the maker treated it as a separate item that could be deemed too small to be conveniently marked. I imagine the associated piercing of the spoon bowl was done after hallmarking so the Assay Office would not have known there was a piece to be added.

IP: Logged

agphile

Posts: 798
Registered: Apr 2008

iconnumber posted 11-14-2017 01:46 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for agphile     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote

[

I got this wooden handled straining spoon a couple of month ago. It is by Richard Crossley, London, 1801. I am sharing it now partly as a result of trying unsuccessfully to upload multiple photos in one go and not wanting to waste the photos.

But the interesting thing is its size, a massive 21¾ inches long. That is 6 inches longer than my biggest basting spoon

[This message has been edited by agphile (edited 11-19-2017).]

IP: Logged

asheland

Posts: 925
Registered: Nov 2003

iconnumber posted 11-15-2017 10:10 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for asheland     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Great example! Richard Crossley made some fine flatware.

IP: Logged

Polly

Posts: 1939
Registered: Nov 2004

iconnumber posted 11-15-2017 12:12 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Polly     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
These are beautiful.

[This message has been edited by Polly (edited 11-15-2017).]

IP: Logged

Scott Martin
Forum Master

Posts: 11377
Registered: Apr 93

iconnumber posted 01-30-2018 08:51 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Scott Martin     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by hff - Crossley strainer:
Although I chiefly collect early Virginia and SC coin silver, I have begun a collection of 18th century Georgian pierced work, esp.sifters. Hence, I was amazed to see the massive Crossley strainer spoon posted by Agphile on 11/15/17. What a fabulous object! It is seemingly a spoon for a special function---one of a kind? For what exact purpose it was used is a mystery to me and to my wife whom I consider to be a "specialist" in the kitchen. Due to its impressive size the spoon almost has an "industrial" feel, but why then the need for its fine decorative piercing, similar to that on sifter spoons. What could the Crossley spoon have strained? If the neatly turned wooden handle is original (which it looks to be), then the spoon appears to be little used. Agphile, do you have other info. on the spoon such as type of wood for the handle, provenance, or hint of its specific function? Have you tested its utility in your kitchen?

IP: Logged

All times are ET

next newest topic | next oldest topic

Administrative Options: Close Topic | Archive/Move | Delete Topic
Post New Topic  Post A Reply
Hop to:


Ultimate Bulletin Board 5.46a


1. Public Silver Forums (open Free membership) - anyone with a valid e-mail address may register. Once you have received your Silver Salon Forum password, and then if you abide by the Silver Salon Forum Guidelines, you may start a thread or post a reply in the New Members' Forum. New Members who show a continued willingness to participate, to completely read and abide by the Guidelines will be allowed to post to the Member Public Forums.
Click here to Register for a Free password

2. Private Silver Salon Forums (invitational or $ donation membership) - The Private Silver Salon Forums require registration and special authorization to view, search, start a thread or to post a reply. Special authorization can be obtained in one of several ways: by Invitation; Annual $ Donation; or via Special Limited Membership. For more details click here (under development).

3. Administrative/Special Private Forums (special membership required) - These forums are reserved for special subjects or administrative discussion. These forums are not open to the public and require special authorization to view or post.


| Home | Order | The Guide to Evaluating Gold & Silver Objects | The Book of Silver
| Update BOS Registration | Silver Library | For Sale | Our Wants List | Silver Dealers | Speakers Bureau |
| Silversmiths | How to set a table | Shows | SMP | Silver News |
copyright © 1993 - 2020 SM Publications
All Rights Reserved.
Legal & Privacy Notices