Thursday, 24 March 2016

Stirring stuff

Dates & Places of Origin, Materials & Uses please.










Good Queen Bess

8a. Philip II of Spain
Looks very like the chap on the left

Hercule François de France of the House of valois, Duke of Alençon, Château-Thierry, Anjou, Berry and Touraine
Not unlike the chap on the right, Good Queen Bess called him her little frog








  1. (1) Silver spoon, swan's head handle. Roman. 2nd/3rd century A.D. Possibly Romano/British (?)

    (2) Silver spoon. A little earlier that (1) ? Perhaps a little more south and East, too. Middle eastern.

    (3) Enameled silver (?) spoon. Pomegranate knop (gilt. XIV/XV th century) possibly a little earlier.

    (4) Exchangeable ivory spoon/fork. North European, possibly English. 16th century.

    1. 1. Yes, 5 inches long catalogued as Roman 4th century AD
      2. Yes, quite a bit earlier, Achaemenid c. 4th century BC
      3. Yes, given as Burgundian C.15th, what a beauty!
      4. Full marks.

    2. (5) Sheet bronze cup, made by sort of horse people, I think, South East Europe. Around 4th Century a.d.
      The spoon interest me. Is it made of wood or horn?

      Going to change my mind - bronze cup is probably Greek - 5th-7th century B.C. (Sneaky way of having two bites of the cherry).

      Is the spoon of the same age as the cup???

    3. 'fraid you're a bit off the mark Mike, they were found together, a 4,000 BC cooking pot and a wooden spoon from the Amose bog, Zealand, Denmark. But you were going in the right direction with your second attempt.

  2. P.s. I think number 8 (the ivory item is one of the most desirable antiques I've seen for a while. Judging by the lady's collar, I think it must date from the second half of the 16th century.

    If, as I suspect, it's a sort of 'narative' piece, what's the story it's telling ??

    1. Sorry Mike I only know it is a Flemish ivory spoon from the early 17th century. The seated man of substance appears to be beckoning the standing guy with the big flower to give him the money and the lady looks ready to snatch it before the seated guy can grasp it. A story about a bride-price perhaps; the flower might be heraldic and give a clue as to its holder's identity?

    2. It seems it is in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, perhaps their site might be more informative than:- "Contemporary scene
      Date: early 17th century
      Medium: Ivory
      Accession Number: 64.101.1602
      Not on view"

    3. Other details found:-
      Dimensions:H. 5-3/8 in. (13.7 cm)
      Credit Line:Gift of Irwin Untermyer, 1964

  3. Amy says:-
    'It looks like an early example of anti-EU propaganda to me! A Walloon and a Spaniard bartering over the hand of Lizzie I, as indicated by the lily that's held by the chap on the right?'
    Carl:- As a Flemish piece this might be seen as slightly subversive perhaps?
    Judy says:-
    They're playing 'Paper, Stone, Scissors of course.'

  4. Well done Amy I'm sure you have it right, all three portraits are a passable match to the carving.

  5. Anyone recognise the item hanging from the right wrist of the ecclesiastical gent in item 15? One assumes a maniple is over his left wrist behind his back.

  6. He's holding three items. Could they be bell, book and candle?
    They don't look like it!

  7. You've got me stumped Mike. I can only make out two items in his right hand. The item hanging from his wrist is typically a book in a carrying case. The item which he holds over his heart is indistinct but I had assumed it to be a holy relic; possibly some saint's heart in a heart-shaped reliquary.

  8. 6. 12th century Turkish spoons
    7. Cowrie shell spoon German/Swiss c.1535 at the V & A
    9. Gorham Lady's pattern silver sugar spoon 1868
    10. 1st century BC Greek parcel-gilt silver and garnet ladle
    11. Ottoman sherbert spoons 1700-1900 (Turkey)
    12. 19th century Ottoman sherbert spoons of coral, silver and shell
    13. Russian silver tea infuser circa 1970
    14. 3rd century AD Roman silver combined spoon and fork
    15.17th century Italian ivory and steel table fork