Spoon Tray

In the mid 18th century tea drinking ritual, the shallow saucers of the day were not able to hold the long- stemmed tea spoons in use.

Details

Medium:
Tin-glazed earthenware
Dimensions:
6 cm
Art Fund grant:
£413 ( Total: £1,650)
Acquired in:
1995
Vendor:
Dr Roger Little

Instead, these were placed in small, flat dishes on the table. Originally referred to as spoon boats, and later as spoon trays, these were in use as early as 1706. This delicately-patterned spoon tray is decorated with a chinoiserie design not previously known to be on any other piece of English glazed tea ware. A bamboo stem in the background is partially obscured by a lotus flower with outspread veined leaves. The motif is echoed in smaller blossoms which run around its sinuous, curving edge. The rococo form suggests that the tray was probably made in a Liverpool factory around 1750-55. Tin-glazed spoon trays from the mid-eighteenth century are scarce, as China was exporting large numbers of hard-paste porcelain examples at comparatively low prices.

Venue details

Curtis Museum and Allen Gallery High Street, ALTON Hampshire GU34 1BA 0142 082 802 www.hampshireculturaltrust.org.uk

Entry details

Free to all

Curtis Museum
Tue – Sat, 10am – 4.30pm

Allen Gallery
Tue – Sat, 10.30am – 4pm

Closed Bank Holidays

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