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Baluster Seal Top spoon: M.5-1950

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Object information

Current Location: Gallery 32 (Rothschild)


Baluster Seal Top spoon


Silversmith: Unidentified




Silver-gilt; the spoon has a fig-shaped bowl on a tapering, slightly flattened, hexagonal stem. The seal top finial has a flattened gadrooned knop above a gadrooned urn-shaped baluster knop. The back of the bowl is prick engraved 'CR'. The gilding is old but not contemporary with the manufacture of the spoon.
Marks: On the bowl is a leopard's head. On the stem is (1) a lion passant (2) date letter P for 1572-73 (3) maker's mark of a crescent enclosing a mullet.

Legal notes

T. H. Riches Bequest, 1935

Measurements and weight

Length: 17.8 cm
Length: 7 in
Weight: 65 g
Weight: 2:2 oz:dwt

Place(s) associated

  • London ⪼ England

Acquisition and important dates

Method of acquisition: Bequeathed (1935) by Riches, Thomas Henry


Third quarter of 16th century
1572 CE - 1573 CE


The maker's mark of a crescent enclosing a mullet has not been identified, but as a large number of spoons, made between about 1550 and 1630, bear this mark it must have been used by a succession of specialist spoonmakers.

Components of the work

Surface composed of gold

Materials used in production


Techniques used in production


Inscription or legends present

  • Text: CR
  • Location: On the back of the bowl
  • Method of creation: Prick engraved
  • Type: Initials

Inscription present: a crescent enclosing a mullet

  • Location: On the back of the handle
  • Method of creation: Struck
  • Type: Maker's mark

Inscription present: lion passant

  • Location: On the back of the handle
  • Method of creation: Struck
  • Type: Hallmark

Inscription present: small gothic

  • Text: d
  • Location: On the back of the handle
  • Method of creation: Struck
  • Type: Hallmark

Inscription present: leopard's head crowned

  • Location: In the bowl of the spoon
  • Method of creation: Struck
  • Type: Hallmark

References and bibliographic entries

Related exhibitions

Identification numbers

Accession number: M.5-1950
Primary reference Number: 139845
Stable URI

Audit data

Created: Saturday 6 August 2011 Updated: Thursday 10 December 2020 Last processed: Friday 11 November 2022

Associated departments & institutions

Owner or interested party: The Fitzwilliam Museum
Associated department: Applied Arts

Citation for print

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The Fitzwilliam Museum (2023) "Baluster Seal Top spoon" Web page available at: Accessed: 2023-05-29 23:19:09

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{{cite web|url= |title=Baluster Seal Top spoon |author=The Fitzwilliam Museum|accessdate=2023-05-29 23:19:09|publisher=The University of Cambridge}}

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