• Christies auction house James Christie logo

    Sale 5926

    Christie's Interiors - Masters & Makers

    24 March 2009, London, South Kensington

  • Lot 305

    A COMMONWEALTH SILVER SLIP-TOP SPOON

    MAKER'S MARK OF TP IN A SHAPED SHIELD, LONDON, DATE LETTER INDISTINCT, PROBABLY 1644

    Price Realised  

    A COMMONWEALTH SILVER SLIP-TOP SPOON
    MAKER'S MARK OF TP IN A SHAPED SHIELD, LONDON, DATE LETTER INDISTINCT, PROBABLY 1644
    The terminal engraved with the initials ML conjoined
    7 in. (17.8 cm.) long
    1.75 oz. (54 gr.)


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    The mark is illustrated in Ian Pickford (ed.), Jackson's Silver and Gold Marks of England, Scotland & Ireland, Woodbridge, Revised Edition, 1989, p. 117.

    Slip-top spoons originated during the late 14th century. The design was inexpensive and easy to manufacture and as a result these spoons remained popular for over a century. Instead of bearing the hallmarks at the back of the stem near the bowl, slip-top spoons were often stamped with the date letter near the terminal. The location of the mark safe-guarded against one type of "duty dodging." If the date letter had been stamped near the bowl, a dishonest silversmith could add a finial after the spoon was assayed and avoid paying part of the taxes.

    Special Notice

    No VAT will be charged on the hammer price, but VAT at 15% will be added to the buyer's premium which is invoiced on a VAT inclusive basis.
    This lot will be removed to an off-site warehouse at the close of business on the day of sale - 2 weeks free storage