Seal Top Spoons
While the earliest recorded seal-top spoon which can be exactly dated is the Pudsey spoon of 1525 Commander and Mrs. How note examples which stylistically date to as early as circa 1450. Two examples of circa 1500 were sold from the Benson Collection, Christie's, London, 4 June 2013, lots 334 and 335. The term seal-top is perhaps something of a misnomer as it suggests that the finial is intended to be used with wax to place a seal on a document, however, as such the engraving should be reversed and How notes that no example has yet appeared which is so engraved (Commander G. E. P. How and J. P. How, English and Scottish Silver Spoons, Mediaeval to Late Stuart and Pre-Elizabethan Hallmarks on English Plate, London, 1952, vol. I, pp. 212-213).
The present spoons, which show traces of finials having been removed are thought to be en-suite with a further set of six spoons sold in 1962 as the previous lot. They were applied with warrior finials engraved with the arms of the Painter-Stainers Company.