Early Tudor Silver Diamond Point Spoon, c.1500

Antique Tudor silver diamond point spoon circa 1500
Antique Tudor silver diamond point spoon circa 1500 DSCN2445 DSCN2454 DSCN2446 DSCN2447 DSCN2448 DSCN2449 DSCN2450 DSCN2452


Spoon - Diamond Point - English Provincial circa 1500 - 15cm long; 39g - LN/3949

The earliest forms of spoon that can be called specifically “English” are the wrythen knop, the acorn knop and the diamond point. This is a very rare opportunity to buy a silver diamond point spoon that dates to the early Tudor period, mostly likely the reign of King Henry VII and originates from the English provinces.

Diamond point spoons are often quite small and flimsy in nature, however this example has a good sturdy feel to it, consequently it has survived in excellent condition. As with all very early English spoons this example has a hexagonal profile stem that tapers towards its diamond point terminal. With its rounded shoulders, the deep fig-shaped bowl is typical of the late 15th century or very early 16th century (1480-1530) and the mimicking of the three marks found on a post-1478 London-made spoon (bowl mark and twice on the reverse of the stem) reinforces this dating. By 1544, a fourth mark was added by Goldsmiths Hall and provides a latest date for this spoon.

Despite its great age, the spoon is in remarkably fine condition with just a couple of small dings to the bowl. It has an excellent unworn bowl which in part must be due to the good gauge used in its creation, plus the surface has a lovely colour and antique patina.

The spoon is very clearly stamped to the bowl with an eight-point star within a pelleted circle and to the reverse of the stem with an incuse eight-point star mark struck twice. A pelleted circle stamp with leopard's head inside was used in London until circa 1470 and maybe further evidence towards the aforementioned mimicry.

With very early spoons, the mark in the bowl is often thought to relate to origin whereas the incuse marks on the back are more likely to be merchant marks. The fact that one of these stem marks overstrikes another lends further credence to this theory. Although not yet confidently attributed, Bristol with the star mark described on page 307 of Jacksons Silver Hallmarks is a contender for the likely origin of the spoon.

Provenance: The Quernmore Collection – sold at Woolley & Wallis October 2001. As per the catalogue entry, the spoon shows a great similarity to an example illustrated in Gask “Old Silver Spoons of England” (top example of plate V on pages 43/44) that is dated to the 15th century and bears a similar bowl mark.