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Rare 17th Century Memorial Dutch Silver Spoon and Fork set - Sara Lewes, VOC silver?
Reference: S1181
Period: 17th Century
Year: Circa 1672
Silversmith: unmarked
Place: Probably Dutch
Price: $ 1 550.00
Weight: 90g grams
Dimensions: 16,5 cm
Condition: Very good. 1 Tine is a little wonky at the tip. The fork handle has a clear join mark halfway up, probably an old repair.

Description: Beautiful 17th century memorial (memento mori) matching spoon and fork set in outstanding condition, we feel they deserve to be in a museum. Both have cast triangular handles with an unusual finial, which appears to be a naked woman with a serpents head. The fork has 3 prongs, and the spoon has a crude short rattail. Both are engraved " SARA LEWES Obyt 7 Juny 1672". This set is illustrated and described on page 90-91 of the book "Cape Silver" by Stephan Welz, 1976. Welz describes them as possibly Cape, but we feel they are more likely to be Dutch. A very similar spoon is depicted on page 142 of "Dutch Silver" by M.H. Guns, the spoon has an almost identical bowl and shaft. No hallmarks are present. Note: - The curator of the Silver Dept, Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam, has now described this set as Auricular form, typical of Netherlands in the second half of the 17 th century. His opinion is that it is probably colonial, as known Dutch examples have hallmarks. This set has now been featured in an excellent article in Silver Magazine (September/ October 2008, pg 20-24) entitled "A 1672 Dutch Memento Mori Spoon and Fork Set from New York", written by Kevin Brown, in which he conjectures that this set may be the earliest known New York memento mori silver, and that the fork is the earliest extant silver fork from the United States. Note 2 - In a new article entitled "Trifling Things? The Sara Lewes Memorial Lepel and Vork", published in "Dutch Crossing", Vol 36, No 3, November 2012, by Alena Buis and Kevin Brown, a fuller history is described, including the postulation that they are VOC silver - we highly recommend the article. Note 3 - This set also featured in the journal of the Silver Spoon Club of Great Britain, The Finial, in a 2 part article entitled "A Dutch Memento Mori Spoon & Fork Set (1672) From New York?, September -December 2011, Vol 22 - and featured on the front cover of the December 2011 edition.
Rare 17th Century Memorial Dutch Silver Spoon and Fork set - Sara Lewes, VOC silver?
Memorial spoon and fork

Rare 17th Century Memorial Dutch Silver Spoon and Fork set - Sara Lewes, VOC silver?
Back

Rare 17th Century Memorial Dutch Silver Spoon and Fork set - Sara Lewes, VOC silver?
Finials detail

Rare 17th Century Memorial Dutch Silver Spoon and Fork set - Sara Lewes, VOC silver?
Back of finial

Rare 17th Century Memorial Dutch Silver Spoon and Fork set - Sara Lewes, VOC silver?
Inscription fork

Rare 17th Century Memorial Dutch Silver Spoon and Fork set - Sara Lewes, VOC silver?
Inscription spoon

Rare 17th Century Memorial Dutch Silver Spoon and Fork set - Sara Lewes, VOC silver?
Spoon bowl

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