Thursday, April 11, 2019

Spoons for the Gilded Age

All still usable for dining and entertaining elegantly with foods today... From left to right are: 
  1. An ice cream spoon —for your favorite chocolate or vanilla
  2.  An orange spoon— great for eating melon served in the rind 
  3. A sauce spoon —elegantly add just that right amount from the sauce served “on the side”
  4. An ice cream, spoon-fork “spork” —ideal for ice creams with large pieces of fruit or other delights
  5. A confection spoon— use it to sprinkle sugar or cinnamon onto berries or toast
  6. A jelly spoon— not just jellies, but use it for preserves or honey, too
  7. A horseradish spoon— excellent for serving mayonnaise and other creamy condiments 
  8. A caviar spoon— ideal for caviar, caviar and even, caviar. 

The name “1847 Rogers Bros.” is misleading. The page above shows spoons from an 1880’s salesman’s catalog.

Entertaining in Another Era 

The plethora of flatware designs, and variety of foods they were designed for, in the Victorian and Edwardian eras offered elegant and correct ways to outdo, or impress one’s neighbors at the dining table. They also helped reflect lighting in the room and created a more luminous dining experience in the later days of candlelight and gaslight dining, as well as the early days of electricity.

Many foods that only the wealthy could afford to serve, and serve properly in style, were those which needed refrigeration or were quickly perishable. Spoons, like these antiques pictured, were offered in abundance in the later 1800's and early 1900's. They had a variety of uses. The spoons which feature a gold layer (or vermeil “gilding”), were designed that way, to protect the silver from corrosive foods such as salt or citric acid. The one which is made entirely 
of horn, was made for a very salty food— caviar. 

Etiquette Enthusiast, Maura J Graber, is the Site Editor for the Etiquipedia© Etiquette Encyclopedia 

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