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One of a set of 12 Apostle Spoons

German

Artwork Details

One of a set of 12 Apostle Spoons
late 19th century
German
cast silver
6 1/8 in. ( 15.5 cm )
Gift of Raymond C. Smith
1975/2.195

On Display

Not currently on display

Description

Subject Matter:

Originating in early 15th-century Europe, Apostle spoons became popular christening and baptismal gifts by the early 16th century. A complete set traditionally contains thirteen spoons with representations of Christ (the Master spoon) and the twelve Apostles, each with his respective emblem, at the terminal end of the handle. The spoons—usually made out of silver, but sometime other metals such as pewter—were especially fashionable in Germany, Holland and England and were often gifted by a godparent to his or her godchild. The wealthiest godparents would gift a complete set, others a smaller number, and the most modest a single spoon. Complete sets of all twelve Apostle spoons (such as this set from Germany represented here) are quite rare, while sets including the figure of Jesus on a larger spoon are even more exceedingly rare.

Physical Description:

Silver spoon with figure of a man at the terminal end of the handle

Usage Rights:

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