Trifid Spoon with Portraits of William and Mary

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  • Maker: Robert Seare
  • London, England
  • 1689-1694
  • Pewter
  • 1980-168

Patriotic themes, such as the portraits of reigning sovereigns, appear most often on spoons in cast-relief form amidst baroque scrolls and naturalistic motifs in the late seventeenth and early eighteenth centuries and only sporadically thereafter. These spoons and other pewter with various forms of royal commemoration appealed to the same market as delft with related decoration.

Seventy-two trifid spoons by Stephen Bridges of London with the portrait of King William III on their handles and lace-back decorated bowls were found inside a pewter bottle on the wreck of the Henrietta Maria, recovered off the Florida Keys. The ship was reputedly a slaver that sailed from London to Africa and Jamaica in 1699. Presumably, these spoons were used as trade goods. Several trifid spoons with relief-cast portraits of King William III and Queen Mary are among the pewter items found at Port Royal, Jamaica, that had been buried during the earthquake of 1692.

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