Silver christening spoon

Object number #346

Nuremberg c. 1700

Wolfgang Roessler

City’s hallmark: N for Nuremberg

Makers’ Mark: a flower for Wolfgang Roessler (s. GNM Nr. 739)

Length: 17,5 (6,8 in.); weight: 58 gr. (2, 05 oz.)


Detailed description

Silver christening spoon

This silver christening spoon has an egg-shaped bowl with a rat’s tail. The handle rises on it, very elaborately decorated. On the back two feet in the shape of vine leaves (symbol for Jesus Christ). The stem is decorated with flower relief and at the broad end of the stem a scene with the baptism of Christ is depicted in a medallion. The back of the stem is also decorated with elaborate floral decorations in relief. The marks and the control zig-zag are ligated on the back of the bowl.

Silver Christening Spoons

In earlier times, the christening or baptismal spoon was a valuable gift to be used, which often accompanied the baptismal child throughout his or her life. The silver spoon was also a good baptismal gift for babies, as silver kills germs.

The symbolism of this christening gift is double: First, the material of the spoon – silver and less often gold – expresses the desire and hope for the prosperity of the young child. Secondly, the gift was always intended to give the baptized child plenty to eat, symbolizing thus the desire that he or she will always have enough.