Icons of England
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apostle teaspoons

780 of 1170 nominations

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apostle teaspoons

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apostle teaspoons

These exquisitely made antique spoons were popular as wedding or christening presents in the 16th and 17th centuries. They were used on the continent too, but enjoyed special popularity in England. Each spoon has a small figure at the end of the handle which depicts Jesus or one of the 12 apostles. Each apostle usually has a round halo or disc and can be recognised by his own symbol – St. Peter has a key for example, and sometimes a fish, St. John has a chalice, St. Matthew a wallet or an axe. A full set of 13 spoons, usually made from silver, would have cost around 15 shillings in the mid-1600s – pretty expensive at a time when most spoons were made from wood. But they’re worth even more these days. The record for a full set is $390,000 (around £225,000). Would-be collectors should look out for fakes – apparently, they’re around in abundance!

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Your comments

My recollection is of at least one apostle teaspoon in every cutlery drawer in UK. And no cuppa would be complete without one sitting on the saucer.

Michael Potter


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I believe rice, peas and jerk chicken is an Icon of England.

Ade Adeluwoye

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