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Caddy spoon, shell bowl

Origin: England, London
OL: 4 1/2"; w of bowl: 1 1/2"
Silver (Sterling)
Gift of Mr. E. Palmer Taylor
Acc. No. 1998-136
Short handle with rounded tip; oval chased shell bowl. Handle with "king" pattern.
Label:During the eighteenth century drinking tea was an important social custom in England and America. The practice of serving it required both distinctive manners and specific equipment. Because tea was a valued commodity, the leaves were stored in a locked tea caddy to prevent theft. Tea caddy spoons were often purchased separately to scoop the loose leaves from the caddy to the teapot. Although they are mostly thought of as silver objects, caddy spoons were also made of other materials such as ivory, mother-of-pearl, and tortoiseshell. These little spoons were mass produced during this time in various shapes including shells, leaves, and the eagle’s wing.
Provenance:Ex Coll: Mr. E. Palmer Taylor
Mark(s):lion passant; monarch's head; leopard's head; date letter "C"; maker's mark "WT" over "[?]A" in square