The silver spoons on this page are very large and very impressive. These huge bon bon servers were designed to be passed around from person to person at a party or gathering. Typically small candies of various types would be placed in the bowl. Because these spoons are so large, I have usually provided a picture of the entire spoon and then highlighted certain aspects of the spoon. For the observant veterans of this museum site, some of these spoons are also pictured in other exhibits, but some others are only found in this exhibit and these pictures are better quality. The spoons in this exhibit are at least 8" and may measure up to 13".
This is a very impressive 9" spoon with a large detailed sailboat above two winged cupids. The large pierced bowl has two cornucopia surrounding the Amsterdam city shield and on the shoulders are two winged male reclining figures. A detail photo of the mid section of this spoon is shown below.
The "Lady of Justice" is found in several different versions. In this case she is seated and holding the scales in her right hand and in the left she holds an upright sword. The reticulated handle is cast in a flower pattern. This spoon measures about 8.6".
This is one of my favorite pieces. In the bowl is a detail view of a minstrel team playing musical instruments. The finial is a picture of Diana the Huntress without the stag which usually accompanies her. The bowl on this spoon is wider than the picture suggests. This spoon measures 8.6 inches.
The picture shows two men playing checkers. The left man has just made a move and is sitting back with a smug look on his face, while the right man is concentrating with his hand on his forehead. There are also lots of little details scattered throughout.
The handle on this spoon is the same as the spoon above it showing Diana, the huntress.
This spoon is also known as a monkey spoon (you can find the link to the monkey spoon exhibit on the main index page). The spoon was designed for a wedding. The finial which you can't see is a bird and the hook is a snake. The main section of the bowl shows two men, but one is holding a club behind his back. Directly below the men is a bird (goose?). To the above left of the bird is a female face (hard to see). To the above right of the bird and across from the female is a profile of a male face with a handlebar mustache (very difficult to see in the picture). I have enlarged this section of the bowl in the next picture, but it is still difficult to see.
This Funeral spoon is also known as a Monkey spoon. It also has the bird at the finial and the hook is a snake, but the boss is a crowned funeral urn with two rearing horses. The very large round bowl has an impressive sailing ship in it
This is also a large 9.1" Monkey spoon bon bon server for a wedding. The finial is a bird and the boss is a sailing ship (unusual shape for a boss). The engraved and chased cutout open work bowl features the Amsterdam Coat of Arms, but just above the crown are two preening love birds (very difficult to see because of all the rococo style flowers and designs and the shadows). Dutch 800 silver and probably from late 1890's or first part of the 20th century.
At the finial is a Harpy. Because of the angle of the harpy, it does not sit directly on the scanner surface so you can't see all of the details. This very large server (10.375" 267mm) appears to be from Florence, Italy. Below the harpy horse is a mechanical horse ring which is frequently found on the side of buildings in Florence. The bowl pictures a flower girl. There are no marks, but I tested it with acid and it appears to be 800 silver. I suspect that it was made in one of the silver factories in Holland or Germany that specialized in these large Victorian pieces and then sent to Italy for sale as the style is the same as many other pieces which I have seen that were produced in those countries. The harpy is a fictional winged serpent composed of body elements from several creatures. It snatches food and babies from the unsuspecting and fouls what it cannot carry away.
An interesting thing happened. I bought another spoon which has a bowl almost identical to this one. It is close enough that it has to be the same manufacturer, but it is different. The new one is slightly larger and has slightly different background designs. The handle is quite different.
I have also examined this bowl in greater detail, and discovered elements which I had not previously noted. The flower girl actually has fish in her basket and with her left hand she is holding two more fish by the tail. On the edges of the spoon about equal to her head, two animals are represented. On the right side appears a fox and on the left side a bird. Below her feet is a stag. These elements are difficult to see in the picture because the bowl does not lie flat upon the scanner. On the new piece, the elements are much clearer, but it actually takes a worse picture because of the angle of the handle to the bowl. I haven't yet figured out the significance of these animals.
This spoon is a mystery to me. Despite extensive research I cannot figure out what is being represented.
The finial appears to be a woman holding a piece of cloth. Her right breast is covered, but the left one is not.
I guessed that it was related to some European artwork, but I have not been able to confirm that.
The bowl appears to be a woman reading a book, and a man is leaning toward her.The bowl is pierced to allow
liquid to drain through. There are three untraced marks in the bowl. The spoon appears to have been hand made.