Item: Marrow Scoop Description: Squirrel on stump
Hallmark: London 1768 by Robert Sallam Dimensions: 230mm long,
Comments: An extremely rare
piece of flatware.
picture back marrow spoon depicts a red squirrel sitting on an oak tree
stump whilst nibbling an acorn. The scene is enveloped by branch tendrils
with oak leaves and more acorns. The scene is emblematic of British pride
during the mid-18th Century and almost certainly relates to the recently
written song "Heart of Oak". The squirrel in
the picture represents Britain and the surrounding oak branches
representing the protection afforded to it by the Royal Navy.
oak referred to in the title of the song refers to the wood from which
British warships were traditionally made. The song became the official
march of the Royal Navy. The music for this song was composed by Dr
William Boyce and the words were written by David Garrick. The words in
the song reference the "wonderful year", this being 1759-60
during which British forces were victorious in several battles: The battle
of Lagos, battle of Quebec City, Battle of Quiberon Bay, Battle of
Wandiwash and the success in foiling a French invasion. See Wikipedia.org for
more information and the song lyrics in full.
spoons are scarce at the best of times (far less common than a standard
scoop), picture back marrow spoons or scoops are rare, "a squirrel on
stump" picture back on any spoon is very rare. This is the first time
we have encountered this very rare emblem on a marrow spoon.
The picture is in pretty good condition with some very
minor loss of detail from table contact and polishing. All the picture is
present and can be easily observed. The hallmarks are also in good
condition, although the date letter is a little rubbed (still legible).
The front bears an engraved initial in Gothic script.
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