Squirrel on Stump Picture-back Teaspoon, 1765
Teaspoon - Picture-back 'Squirrel on stump' - London circa 1765 - 112mm long - Ref. No.: VM/1265d
This rare picture back teaspoon depicts a red squirrel sitting on an oak tree stump whilst nibbling an acorn. The scene is emblematic of British pride during the mid-18th Century and almost certainly relates to the recently written song "Heart of Oak". The squirrel in the picture represents Britain and the surrounding oak branches representing the protection afforded to it by the Royal Navy.
The oak referred to in the title of the song refers to the wood from which British warships were traditionally made. The song became the official march of the Royal Navy. The music for this song was composed by Dr William Boyce and the words were written by David Garrick. The words in the song reference the "wonderful year", this being 1759-60 during which British forces were victorious in several battles: The battle of Lagos, battle of Quebec City, Battle of Quiberon Bay, Battle of Wandiwash and the success in foiling a French invasion. See Wikipedia.org for more information and the song lyrics in full.
This teaspoon is in good condition with a full bowl and the picture is in fair condition with some loss of detail from table contact and polishing. There are two hallmarks to the stem with a clear lion passant but illegible maker's mark. This is the second of two spoons that have been available