A George III Engraved Pastern-Hoof Caddy Spoon, Silver
This very well preserved, early and unusual, silver caddy spoon has the form of a pastern-hoof. The name has been given because of its similarities in shape to the lower leg of a horse (between fetlock and hoof).The bowl of the spoon has a raised pierced gallery and is engraved with prick dot designs on the upper rim of the bowl. In the middle, it has a lovely engraved flower. The handle is also decorated with floral designs and has an oval cartouche foreseen for a script initial. The spoon is in excellent condition and is very well marked on the reverse (handle).
A similar example is shown in Norie, 1988, plate 50, fig.a.
Caddy spoons appear in the English silver since the mid-eighteenth century. They represent a new item within the different categories of silver flatware, due to the change of forms (particularly of the lid) of the tea caddies.
Caddy spoons like other flatware were often personalized through the initials of the owner, in order to be able to easily find the object in case of theft but also to show off the wealth.
Caddy spoons were always required to be hallmarked.
Birmingham was a rapidly expanding commercial center at the beginning of the eighteenth century. Cloth and leather trading became during this period less important and were replaced by metalworking skill. Above all, the production of toys, buckles and guns was very profitable for the city; Birmingham got even the nickname ‘the toy shop of Europe’. Leading toy maker in the town around the mid-eighteenth century was John Taylor. However, metal toy trade was in the decline by 1850.
In the domain of silvermaking in Birmingham, Matthew Boulton dominated there during 1760’s-1790’s. Among other small objects of high quality made in silver (e.g. toothpick boxes) belonged also the tea caddy spoons.
Cocks & Bettridge had they marked registered in 1796 and 1813. There are some fine examples of their work – and especially caddy spoons – preserved in private and public collections, like the National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne and the Victoria & Albert Museum, London.
Jones, Kenneth Crisp (Hrsg.), The Silversmiths of Birmingham and their Marks 1750-1980, N.A.G. Press Ltd.: London, 1981.
Norie, John, Caddy spoons: An illustrated guide, London: Murray, 1988.