Rattail Mote Spoon, c.1725
Mote Spoon - Rat-tail - Circa 1725 - 14.6cm long; 9g - TV/7432
The rattail to the reverse of the pierced bowl of this early 18th century silver mote spoon is key to dating the piece to the 1715-1730 period and the fancy pierced design assigns it to the latter part of that period (the bowls were simply drilled before 1720). The attractively pierced bowl was for skimming dust motes from the surface of a cup of tea (a common problem for tea drinkers at a time when the product was carried in wooden chests) and a long tapering stem to enable the unblocking of teapot spouts.
Many antique mote spoons lack hallmarks due to their small size, narrow shanks and overall fragility - this one is of that ilk. The spoon is in excellent condition.