Before I go into details about the silver spoons that we found in the walls of the house we recently purchased, let me first relate some very interesting facts that we learned while researching silver spoons. Who knew that place settings didn’t become popular until about 1700? People actually brought their own spoons to the table! They carried their spoons with them much like we carry our wallets or keys or cell phones. Bringing a silver spoon to the table was an indication of ones’ social class. At times a silver spoon even served like a passport, drivers license or credit card in the sense that it could be used to prove ones’ situation in life.
Also interesting to know is that silver utensils self-sanitize, because silver has antimicrobial properties. How cool would it be to have a spoon that pretty much cleaned itself? Not to mention silver utensils also have the ability to detect poisons such as sulfur and arsenic. They tarnish immediately upon contact. Something that might come in handy to know if you fear someone is out to get you. Just kidding.
Unfortunately, our silver spoons would reveal that we are not “upper class”, because they are simply silver plated. I will divulge the details of the spoons separately beginning with the oldest.
The first spoon has written on the back the following: (a star shape) Rogers&Bro A1 6. This combined with the look of the spoons handle tells us that it is an 1872 Fiddle by William Rodgers Manufacturing Company. The A1 means that it is silver plated. The 6 means that it is a 6 inch spoon.
The second spoon reads: Pat. Dec 27.10 1881 (an “R” inside of wreath) Rogers (another “R” inside of wreath) A1. It is a 1910 Leyland also called an 1881 Rogers or a Wearever Plate. It was Manufactured by William A. Rogers Ltd.. This company was started years later by the same man who owned the above mentioned company. Let me clarify something that stumped me at first. December 27, 1910 is the date the spoons were patented and circulated while 1881 is simply part of the name of the spoon and holds no bearing on the age of the spoon. The rest of the writing is self-explanatory except the A1. Again this simply means it is silver plated.
Kenney, needless to say, was slightly disappointed. However it soothed matters when I undisclosed my ideas concerning the spoons. We haven’t even looked up their value assuming that they won’t be worth much since they are only silver plated anyhow. Instead we plan to display them on the wall in the dining room where we found them for friends and family to see. When we finish out the walls in this room, we want to store something in their place. Perhaps two old coins from Kenney’s collection, drawings from the kids, and a letter describing everything that has unfolded. Who knows? Maybe another 88 years down the road (that’s how old the house is now) a family will be moving a wall or creating an opening for some reason and find what we have left behind for them!
I couldn’t help myself. This tad bit of information stirred up a memory of an old clip from the TV show “Friends” in which Joey just happens to be carrying with him a fork, much like I mentioned people used to do before the 1700’s. It certainly came in handy for him since he happened upon cheesecake…the best dessert ever! You can view the video clip at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MdYy_7rsLKk. Joey’s moment is not until the end but the whole clip is hilarious!