The use of coins became quite popular around 1900, and we find many spoons made using coins that were in production at that time.
These spoons were made with actual ancient coins. The coins were mounted as finials and soldered onto conventional spoons in a style very similar to the medallion souvenir spoons.
I surmised that this was an ancient coin that had been soldered onto the spoon. Thanks to Michael Marotta, Senior Staff Writer for Coin World Magazine, we have more information on this fantastic old spoon. While the coin is over 2300 years old, the spoon is probably about 100 years old.
This coin is attributable as Sear 2633 or 2634, a
from Corinth circa 350-306 BC. Aphrodite is on one side, Pegasus
on the other. The "Letter E" under the winged horse is probably the initial
of the mintmaster
Aphrodite was the Greek goddess of love and the companion of Eros, the God of love. She also had an affair with Adonis after he was restored to life by Zeus. Adonis would spend 6 months with Aphrodite and the weather would be warm and pleasant, but the other six months without Adonis, the weather would be cold. The Greeks used this myth to explain the changing of the seasons.
Pegasus, the winged horse, was born of the blood of the Gorgon Medusa. The horse flew to join the gods, but was captured by Athena (see below and the exhibit of Greek Spoons), who tamed the horse with a golden bridle. After many battles, Zeus turned the horse into a constellation.
David N. Sear wrote the standard catalog books on Greek Coins, Roman Coins, and Byzantine coins. To identify an ancient coin just go SGC 1234 or RSV 123 for Sear Greek Coins or Roman Silver Coins and their Values.
A "stater" is the standard coin or coin unit -- sometimes a town never minted any staters, but we can figure out what the standard was from the coins they did mint. We figure this coin was exactly halfway between the drachmon and tetradrachmon.
A stater is a two drachma. BUT.... Different towns had different standards. So the Corinthian you have is a half (Corinthian) stater but 3/2 of an Athenian drachma.
Oh! see the New Testament. Jesus has to pay a temple tax and sends a disciple to go fishing with the instructions that he is to open up the first fish he catches and he will find a stater coin.
This spoon has now been "immortalized" because the picture and information was published in Michael's "Reader's Ask" column of Coin World Magazine for Monday, October 11, 1999 on page 70.
Michael, thank you for this information and the explanation.
This spoon appears in my latest book as an ancient Greek coin. I now have some reason to believe that it may be a clever reproduction. I am awaiting further identification.
Cast silver reproduction of an ancient Greek four
drachma coin dating to
the 5th century BC
The obverse is the head of Athene (Athena) the Goddess of prudent intelligence and chastity/virginity and various other qualities including war. The reverse is an owl which also symbolizes intelligence
Another cast reproduction variation of the ancient Greek drachma. Athena wears a very pronounced "helmet of gold with a jutting crest which is vast enough to cover 100 towns".
The Pearl of the Adriatic, Venice, Italy, was the leading European trading city during the 1500-1700's. Exports from most western European cities were sent to Egypt, Turkey and other countries, while the imports from those countries including the Orient passed through Venice. The Venitian ducat coin was accepted world wide (much as is the US dollar today) in all different types of trading situations. The ducat came in a gold and a silver version.
This spoon has a genuine silver Venitian ducat as the bowl and the finial is the St. Marks lion which is a major emblem of Venice.
Front and back views of the Ducat. On the numismatic market, ducats in very good condition sell for about a thousand dollars. This ducat has seen considerable use and is also bent into a bowl shape, but much of it is readableThis is a picture of a good quality ducat.
A cast silver replica of an ancient Dutch (I think)
coin which serves as
the handle for this wine tasting spoon.
This spoon also has British import marks for London 1891.
The bowl is all handworked
This is a particularly nice English "berry" server measuring just over 7" in the Old English style. The hallmarks date it to London 1804 with a silversmith mark for Thomas Dealtry.
The very nice bowl has a genuine 3 pence silver coin mounted flush. The piercings are all hand made and the hand chasing around the edge is particularly well done. (note the bowl shape is slightly distorted in the picture because I manipulated it so that it would be easier to see)
The engraving on the handle is more in the Rococo style than the Victorian style so I suspect that it is original.
This coin ladle is handmade and is marked as 835 silver. It took quite a time to figure out what this piece was all about.
The nicely engraved finial indicates that it is from Stendal. I finally figured out that Stendal is a state in Germany west of Berlin
The coin in the bowl was the difficult item. It is bent, so it doesn't lie flat on the scanner and thus I could not make a picture of the front.
The back gives the denomination -- a 24 Marian Grosch. The date on this coin is 1708, but that is most likely not be the actual date of manufacture.
I was finally able to find a coin web site in French which discusses this coin. From that I learned that this is a Brunswick Thaler and that it honors Antoine Ulrich who is the son of Auguste II. He only reigned for 10 years. The thaler with the wild man was used for a very long time. Its manufacture began in the 16th century and lasted until the second half of the 18th century.
I couldn't get a scan of the wildman, so I am showing a slightly different variation of this coin so that you can see the interesting front. My coin has a different reverse than the one shown on this web site, but the front is virtually the same (except the "RB" says "24"). I suspect that my coin is a a much more current vintage than is this valuable old version.
This is a conventional American machine made spoon by
the Philadelphia firm
of Davis & Galt. It appears that they have soldered an ancient
coin to the spoon. This firm was known as an upscale silver producer
was deeply involved in the classical style of silver flatware. They
produced silver flatware for their related firm,
Galt & Bro. of Washington D.C.
Kevin Barry, Member ANA, ANS, was kind enough to furnish me the following information: "Your coin, if it is real, would be a Roman Republic denarius minted by Cnaius Lentulus Clodianus in 88 BC. The obverse depicts the bust of Mars, seen from behind. The reverse is Victory in a biga (2 horse chariot). The attribution is Cornelia 50. Now, about if it is real or not. I really cannot tell with certainty from the image. The long nose is atypical and the edges seem to be unusually regular and square. The only way for me to be certain would be to examine it. http://www.bitsofhistory.com. I thank Mr. Barry for his efforts.