One of a set of 12 Apostle Spoons

Accession Number

One of a set of 12 Apostle Spoons


Object Creation Date
late 19th century

Medium & Support
cast silver

6 1/8 in. ( 15.5 cm )

Credit Line
Gift of Raymond C. Smith

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

Primary Object Classification
Decorative Arts

Primary Object Type

Collection Area

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2 Related Resources

Lives of Christian Saints
(Part of 6 Learning Collections)
Cabinet R: Shelf 2
(Part of: Albertine Monroe-Brown Study-Storage Gallery)

& Author Notes

Web Use Permitted

On display

UMMA Gallery Location ➜ AMH, 2nd floor ➜ 205 (Albertine Monroe-Brown Study-Storage Gallery) ➜ Cabinet R ➜ Shelf 2