I had several spoons which had this strange looking symbol which looked somewhat like either a human hand or possibly a flower. Finally I got a clue by discovering that they were known as the "hand of Fatima". This explanation lasted for awhile, but I became curious as to why it was on spoons. So I did some further research and learned about this very ancient symbol.
The hamsa hand (Arabic) or hamesh hand (Hebrew) is an old and still popular symbol for protection from the "evil eye". The symbol is often carried on a post in front of parades. The words hamsa and hamesh both have a root meaning "five" and refer to the fingers on the hand. The Islamic name for this charm is the "hand of Fatima", who was the daughter of Mohammed. The Jewish name for it is the "hand of Miriam". The hamsa hand appears both in a two-thumbed, symmetrical form, and in a more natural form in which there is only one thumb. Various other formations are often artistically arranged. So in some respects this could also be classified as a good luck spoon (or an anti-evil spoon) from the Mid-East.
I suspect that most of these spoons originated in Iran, Iraq, Turkey, or Israel.
A most unusual unmarked spoon. The finial is a very large fresh water pearl and the bowl is an engraved picture of the hamsa hand.
Two other versions of the hamsa hand made out of
filigree silver. The left
one has a
faceted green stone or possibly glass which is supposed to represent the thumb, while the right one has very nicely done filigree workmanship.
Coin bowl (the only thing I can read is a number
1329--all other words are
The handle is bright cut and engraved and is a little more abstract in design
It appears to have a silver marking on the back
An interesting coin bowl spoon with a piece of bright orange coral mounted in the hand
Nice enameled 800 silver spoon showing an Arab warrior on a horse
The knop is an enameled hamsa hand