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17th Century Provincial Silver Apostle Spoon - Thomas Dare II, Taunton     Order Form     Request more information
Reference: S1725
Period: Charles II
Year: Circa 1660-1680
Silversmith: Thomas Dare II
Place: Taunton
Price: $ 4 850.00
Weight: 68 grams
Dimensions: 18.8 cm
Condition: Very good to excellent, very slight wear to LHS of bowl from use. Original gilding worn from use.

Description: A very interesting West Country Provincial Apostle spoon, made by Thomas Dare II of Taunton. The Apostle has a circular nimbus with flying dove, the modelling is slightly crude (for example facial features not very distinct), his right hand is higher than his left, he appears to be holding something stretching between both hands, possibly the bat of St James, but this could also be a fold in his robe. He stands on the usual pedestal, and retains a pleasing amount of the original gilding. The join is flat (as opposed to London made V joint spoons), as is usual for provincial spoons, the stem is flat front and back but has rounded edges. It joins to the bowl with a small crude rat-tail, the bowl is the traditional fig shape, with deep bowl and strong curve from stem. This Apostle could also be St Matthew or St John, but safest to describe it as a generic Apostle spoon with no coherant emblem. The spoon is struck 4 times with makers mark TD in shaped shield over Fleur De Lys (M 38 in Tim Kent's book "West Country Silver Spoons and their Makers, pg 84), once in bowl and three times on base of stem (the bottom 2 marks sideways, the top mark upside down), the marks are worn but still discernible. Tim Kent notes that many West Country Apostle spoons have no emblem and never had one, in most cases customers wanted an Apostle, without being concerned about identity (pg 10 book above), he also notes that it is a myth that Apostle spoons were linked by name to a recipient child at baptism. Kent also notes that "in the West Country, apostles remained popular well into the Restoration period, with the later specimens having broad stems, round bowls and crude finials. Taunton examples of this period often have a very large circular nimbus, see Fig 21" - pg 13, where Fig 21 shows an apostle spoon by Thomas Dare II, it appears to be the identical Apostle and casting to this spoon. Thomas Dare II was a fascinating character, he was born in 1643, and took over his father's business (Thomas Dare I, who was fined in 1633 for use of unofficial Lion Passant on his spoons) in the early 1660's (Kent, as above, pg 82-84). He was subject to a "rigged" trial in 1680 (he was involved in the anti-Catholic movement), and fined GBP 500, an enormous sum. He escaped prison, fled to Amsterdam, and returned in 1685 as Paymaster-General for the ill fated Duke of Monmouth, attempting to replace King Charles II. He was killed by a cavalry officer over a horse which Dare had "liberated". His wife Ellen continued with the Goldsmith's trade. An Apostle spoon by Thomas Dare II was also part of the Ellis Collection, lot 191, decribed as "superb" and pricked 1669, also depicted, this also appears to be a very similar spoon, with the same apostle finial. This accompanied 2 Trefid spoons, lot 192 and 193, also by Thomas Dare II (pg 138)
17th Century Provincial Silver Apostle Spoon - Thomas Dare II, Taunton
Taunton provincial silver apostle spoon - thomas dare

17th Century Provincial Silver Apostle Spoon - Thomas Dare II, Taunton
17th century provincial silver apostle spoon

17th Century Provincial Silver Apostle Spoon - Thomas Dare II, Taunton
Back of Apostle and join

17th Century Provincial Silver Apostle Spoon - Thomas Dare II, Taunton
back of bowl and rat tail

17th Century Provincial Silver Apostle Spoon - Thomas Dare II, Taunton
Thomas Dare II makers mark in bowl

17th Century Provincial Silver Apostle Spoon - Thomas Dare II, Taunton
Thomas dare makers mark struck 3 times

17th Century Provincial Silver Apostle Spoon - Thomas Dare II, Taunton
silver apostle spoon - scale

17th Century Provincial Silver Apostle Spoon - Thomas Dare II, Taunton
Holy dove nimbus on apostle spoon

17th Century Provincial Silver Apostle Spoon - Thomas Dare II, Taunton
Silver Apostle spoon side view - curve of bowl

17th Century Provincial Silver Apostle Spoon - Thomas Dare II, Taunton
Silver Apostle spoon - back view

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