A good antique sterling silver spoon with a trefid terminal and rat-tail bowl. Hand hammered finish. Owners initials to the front and back. Weight 51 grams, 1.6 troy ounces. Length 20 cms. Bowl 7×4.6 cms. Makers mark “IL” over a mullet, within a shield. Circa 1670.
Signed – *Up the handle marks”. On early examples of table silver when the silver marks were struck on the thin part of the stem they distorted the form of the piece and so the silversmith had to hammer this back into shape. That’s why the hallmarks are often squashed and distorted and become more easily rubbed and worn. From c.1780 onwards the Assay Office stamped table silver near the top of the stem as opposed to on the stem just below the bowl, and hallmarks are generally much clearer because there is more space on which to strike them.