Ball spoon with vegetal ornament

Accession Number
1968/2.45

Title
Ball spoon with vegetal ornament

Artist(s)
Norwegian

Object Creation Date
1620-1640

Medium & Support
gilded silver

Dimensions
6 3/16 in. x 2 3/16 in. x 1 in. ( 15.7 cm x 5.6 cm x 2.5 cm )

Credit Line
Museum Purchase

Label copy
March 28, 2009
This spoon, named after the ball-shaped knob at the end of the stem, demonstrates how goldsmiths and silversmiths throughout Germany and Scandinavia transformed quotidian utensils into objects of display for the tables of the affluent middle and upper classes. For the decoration of the spoon, the artist employed geometric and plant forms as well as a Tudor rose incised into the back of the bowl along with an owner’s initials, “AMS.” In selecting these designs, the artist followed the common practice of borrowing motifs from prints and drawings of ornamental patterns that circulated widely around Europe at the time.

Subject matter
The ball spoon, named after the ball-shaped knop at the end of the stem, was a common type of tableware developed in the sixteenth century. This elaborately decorated example demonstrates how gold- and silversmiths throughout Germany and Scandinavia could transform such quotidian utensils into objects of display for the tables of the affluent middle class.

Physical Description
This silver ball spoon consists of a round bowl joined to a stem composed of a flattened section and a twist stem that terminates in an ornamental ball knop. An incised six-petal flower surrounded by bands of geometric ornament decorates the interior of the bowl. The flattened section of the stem is adorned with vegetal ornament.

Primary Object Classification
Metalwork

Primary Object Type
spoon

Collection Area
Western

Rights
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Keywords
eating
ornaments
silverware

1 Related Resource

Early Modern European Objects
(Part of 2 Learning Collections)

& Author Notes

Web Use Permitted

On display

UMMA Gallery Location ➜ AMH, 1st floor ➜ 102 (Richard and Rosann Noel Gallery)