Description & Technical information

Each with a pear-shaped bowl engraved on the back with a symmetrical palm-frond design attached with a vertical disc to the slender baluster-moulded handle, each of which is hexagonal in section nearest the bowl and then round, terminating in a small ball finial.

These spoons with their distinctive drop between bowl and handle belong to the largest and penultimate type of Roman cochlearia, many of which have a leaf design on the underside of the bowl. A number of early Byzantine silver hoards containing sets of similar spoons have been recovered in Greece and Turkey, including the Kerynia Treasure, found in Cyprus, which included thirty-six silver spoons, and the Lampsacus Treasure, discovered at Lapseki in Turkey, which contains thirteen spoons.

Origin:  Byzantine
Medium: silver
Dimensions: 26 cm (10¹/₄ inches)
Provenance: Sold Christie's, London, 2 December 1991, lot 184; Sold Christie’s, London, 28 April 2004, lot 277; Property of a Private Foundation
Literature: The spoons are near identical to those recovered from the Lampsacus Treasure now in the British Museum (see, for example, acc. no. 1848,0601.7). A near identical pair from the collection of Comtesse de Behague were also sold at Sotheby's Monaco, 5 December 1987, lot 128.
Categories: Classical & Egyptian antiquities, Silver