Antique Silver Trefid Spoon


Stock: 9261

Date: 1689

Country: England

A good antique sterling silver spoon, the oval bowl with incised and beaded rat tail heel, the flat stem with...

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A good antique sterling silver spoon, the oval bowl with incised and beaded rat tail heel, the flat stem with a trefid pattern terminal. William & Mary period. Hand hammered finish. Owners initials to the front and back.

Weight 51 grams, 1.6 troy ounces.
Length 20cm. Bowl 7×4.6cm.
Makers mark ‘IL’ over a mullet, within a shield.
London 1689.
Sterling silver.

Marks. Stamped on the reverse with clear up the handle English hallmarks typical of this early period. The date letter “m” is faint but can be made out clearly.

Literature. Before the 18th century the only items of table silver made in any quantity were spoons. Early English silver spoons can date from as early as the 15th century and are highly collectible, especially spoons by rare makers and from unusual provincial towns. The most popular form of cast terminal was the seal top spoon, named after the circular disc at the top, which often bore the engraved initials of the owners. Lion sejant spoons and apostle spoons were also common from the 15th century to the beginning of the 17th century. From the late 16th century the plain flattened stem of the slip top spoon was introduced which developed during the 17th century into the popular trefid form.

Signed/Inscribed: *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.


This attractive antique spoon is in very good condition with no damage.

Maker Information

No maker assigned

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