Object Description

An early English period sterling silver spoon with a fig shape bowl and double baluster seal terminal. The seal end has the original gilt finish (worn) with prick dot initials “IW”. Initial “R” to the reverse of the bowl. Weight 42 grams, 1.3 troy ounce. Length 17.1cm. Bowl 6.5x5cm. London circa 1661. Maker Stephen Venables, a leading spoon maker of the period.
Table silver of this date was stamped with “up the handle” silver marks and it is not unusual that marks punched on the thin central part of the handle stamps are distorted or badly struck and difficult to read.

Biography – Stephen Venables, London silversmith, b,1613/14-d.1683. Venables completed his apprenticeship to Daniel Cary and became free in 1640. A notable spoonmaker.

Object Literature

Early English silver spoons can date from the early 16th century and the most popular form of cast terminal was the seal top spoon. This takes its name from the fact that the baluster (originating as a gothic column in Tudor architecture) is topped by a circular disc, which often bore the engraved initials of the owners.

Object Condition

This highly collectible spoon is in good condition with no damage or restoration. Original gilt tip. Clearly stamped on the reverse for maker Stephen Venables with the lion mark; the date letter is not fully struck but is likely to be the gothic “D” for 1661. Stamped on the front with the leopard for London. The bowl is still well formed.
Please note that this item is not new and will show moderate signs of wear commensurate with age. Reflections in the photograph may detract from the true representation of this item.

Object Classification

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