A spoon is a utensil consisting of a small, shallow bowl at the end of a handle, used primarily for serving and eating liquid, or semi-liquid foods, and solid foods such as rice and cereal which cannot easily be lifted with a fork. Spoons are also used in cooking to measure and mix ingredients. They can be made from metal, wood or plastic.
Medieval spoons for domestic use were commonly made of cow horn or wood, but brass, pewter, and latten spoons appear to have been common in about the 15th century. The full descriptions and entries relating to silver spoons in the inventories of the royal and other households point to their special value and rarity. The earliest English reference appears to be in a will of 1259. In the wardrobe accounts of Edward I for the year 1300 some gold and silver spoons marked with the fleur-de-lis, the Paris mark, are mentioned. One of the most interesting medieval spoons is the coronation spoon used in the anointing of the English sovereign.
The sets of Apostle Spoons, popular as christening presents in Tudor times, the handles of which terminate in heads or busts of the apostles, are a special form to which antiquarian interest attaches. The earlier English spoon-handles terminate in an acorn, plain knob or a diamond; at the end of the 16th century, the baluster and seal ending becomes common, the bowl being fig-shaped. During The Restoration, the handle becomes broad and flat, the bowl is broad and oval and the termination is cut into the shape known as the hinds foot.
In the first quarter of the 18th century, the bowl becomes narrow and elliptical, with a tongue or rat's tail down the back, and the handle is turned up at the end.
The modern form, with the tip of the bowl narrower than the base and the rounded end of the handle turned down, came into use about 1760.
Spoons are used primarily for eating liquid or semi-liquid foods, such as soup, stew, or ice cream, and very small or powdery solid items which cannot be easily lifted with a fork, such as rice, sugar, cereals and green peas. In Southeast Asia, spoons are the primary utensil used for eating; forks are used only to push food onto the spoon. Spoons are also widely used in cooking and serving.
The teaspoon and tablespoon are used as standard units of measure for volume in cooking. The teaspoon is often used in a similar way to describe the dosage for over the counter medicines. A teaspoon is about 5ml and a table spoon about 15ml.
The souvenir spoon generally exists solely as a decorative object commemorating an event, place, or special date.
Spoons can also be used as a musical instrument.
For machine-made spoons, the basic shape is cut out from a sheet of sterling silver, nickel silver alloy or stainless steel. The bowl is cross rolled between two pressurized rollers to produce a thinner section. The handle section is also rolled to produce the width needed for the top end. The blank is then cropped to the required shape, and two dies are used to apply the pattern to the blank. The fash is then removed using a lynisher, and the bowl is formed between two dies and bent.
Features broad array of collectible spoons from around the world, with values.
Contains historical information and photos of antique collectible spoons.
Historical overview of American souvenir spoons with detailed photographs.