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Rare Set of Liberty & Co. Japanese Sterling Silver Octopus Teaspoons (Set of 6) - Sadajiro of Musashiya.
Reference: S11330
Period: Victorian
Year: 1893-1894
Silversmith: Liberty and Co.
Place: London
Price: $ 1 500.00
Weight: 69 grams
Dimensions: 11.5 cm
Condition: All 6 spoons in excellent condition, all octopi perfect. Some slight kinks to stems. Gilding also good, slight wear to handles. Original box fair, has repairs to both sides, hinge and clasp working.

Description: A Rare Set of 6 Liberty & Co. Japanese Sterling Silver Gilded Octopus Teaspoons, made by Sadajiro of Musashiya (Yokohama), these were amongst the first silver items imported by Arthur Lasenby Liberty for his Liberty Arts & Crafts Department store. The spoons have octopi finials, bamboo cane handles, and ormer (abalone) shell bowls, what is remarkable is that each octopus is different. The octopi have been described as "comical, scratching their heads or frowning, adding a wonderful touch of humour" - Simon Moore, Artists Spoons, page 50. The spoons are beautifully gilded, and retain much of the original gilding, their is slight wear on the handles from use. This gilding of the entire spoon is unusual, we have seen other sets without gilding and one set with gilded bowls only. The spoons are well preserved in their original wooden Liberty & Co. box, with green plush velvet interior and green leather exterior with the Liberty logo stamped in gilt lettering, it reads "Liberty & Co. Ltd. Jewellers 218a Regent St. W". The hallmarks on all 6 spoons are excellent, makers mark S.M. on one side, and Ly&Co importers mark with London hallmarks (3 date letter S for 1893 and 3 date letter T for 1894), alongside F foreign import mark. Liberty only registered his hallmark in February 1894 (date letters change on 19 May, St Dunstans day), and as these spoons straddle the date change we can accurately date them to May 1894, so amongst the earliest silver retailed by Liberty. Arthur Liberty established Liberty's in 1875, focused on Aesthetic tastes, heavily influenced by the Far East and Japan, which he visited in 1889. When Simon Moore published his excellent book "Artists Spoons" in 2017, he stated the SM maker was unknown (pages 47-53 for more information on these spoons), he has since published a Corrigenda in 2018 stating Adrien von Ferscht has now identified the maker as Sadajiro (of) Musashiya in Yokohama, and that Liberty visited this store on his Japanese visit of 1889, and that "finest silver items including spoons caught his eye".
Rare Set of Liberty & Co. Japanese Sterling Silver Octopus Teaspoons (Set of 6) - Sadajiro of Musashiya.
Liberty & Co. Japanese Sterling Silver Octopus Teaspoons (Set of 6) - Sadajiro of Musashiya.

Rare Set of Liberty & Co. Japanese Sterling Silver Octopus Teaspoons (Set of 6) - Sadajiro of Musashiya.
Liberty & Co. Japanese Sterling Silver Octopus Teaspoons

Rare Set of Liberty & Co. Japanese Sterling Silver Octopus Teaspoons (Set of 6) - Sadajiro of Musashiya.
Sadajiro of Musashiya silver octopus spoons

Rare Set of Liberty & Co. Japanese Sterling Silver Octopus Teaspoons (Set of 6) - Sadajiro of Musashiya.
Liberty & Co. Japanese Sterling Silver Octopus abalone spoons

Rare Set of Liberty & Co. Japanese Sterling Silver Octopus Teaspoons (Set of 6) - Sadajiro of Musashiya.
Ormer abalone shell bowls - sterling silver spoons

Rare Set of Liberty & Co. Japanese Sterling Silver Octopus Teaspoons (Set of 6) - Sadajiro of Musashiya.
Octopus finials bambbo - silver spoons

Rare Set of Liberty & Co. Japanese Sterling Silver Octopus Teaspoons (Set of 6) - Sadajiro of Musashiya.
Humerous Octopi finials silver spoons

Rare Set of Liberty & Co. Japanese Sterling Silver Octopus Teaspoons (Set of 6) - Sadajiro of Musashiya.
Liberty & Co London 1893 silver hallmarks, sadajiro musashiya

Rare Set of Liberty & Co. Japanese Sterling Silver Octopus Teaspoons (Set of 6) - Sadajiro of Musashiya.
Liberty & Co. Japanese Sterling Silver Octopus Teaspoons original box

Rare Set of Liberty & Co. Japanese Sterling Silver Octopus Teaspoons (Set of 6) - Sadajiro of Musashiya.
Liberty & Co. Ltd. Jewellers 218a Regent St. W

Rare Set of Liberty & Co. Japanese Sterling Silver Octopus Teaspoons (Set of 6) - Sadajiro of Musashiya.
Liberty & Co. box showing repairs to both sides

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