SF-80ACB3: Post-Medieval silver-gilt seal top spoon

Rights Holder: Suffolk County Council
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Unique ID: SF-80ACB3

Object type certainty: Certain
Workflow status: Awaiting validation Find awaiting validation

Description: An incomplete silver-gilt fragment originating from a seal-top spoon of Post-Medieval date, c. 1550-1650. It consists only the terminal of the spoon, with the rectangular-sectioned handle and bowl missing due to old damage. The terminal itself takes the form of a bobbin-shaped element decorated with floral sub-triangular repeating motifs, above which is a collar promptly followed by a second collar of a thicker and more prominent nature, its outer edge demonstrating widely spaced longitudinal grooves. The apex of the spoon terminal flattens out into a circular disk, on the upper surface of which are the remains of initials and an uncertain decorative design, picked out by closely spaced circular pinpricks. The first initial seems to be a letter 'M', though the second is too worn to identify securely. Traces of gilding are preserved in the recessed sections of the piece.

Date: c. 1550-1650

Dimensions: The fragment survives to a length of 21.51mm and is 5.33mm thick at its midpoint, while the 'seal-top' measures 13.36mm in diameter. It weighs 4.70g.

Discussion: A broadly similar fragment is recorded on the PAS database as ESS-15D08E. Homer (1975, 28) dates spoons with this type of terminal to the mid-16th to mid-17th century. The letters engraved on the top of the spoon are likely to reflect those of the owner.

The object contains more than 10% precious metal and is over 300 years old. Consequently, it qualifies as Treasure under the stipulations of the Treasure Act 1996 in terms of both age and precious metal content.


Homer, R. F., 1975. Five Centuries of Base Metal Spoons. London: The Worshipful Company of Pewterers

Class: seal-top

Subsequent actions

Subsequent action after recording: Returned to finder

Treasure details

Treasure case tracking number: 2017T272


Broad period: POST MEDIEVAL
Period from: POST MEDIEVAL
Date from: Circa AD 1550
Date to: Circa AD 1650

Dimensions and weight

Quantity: 1
Length: 21.51 mm
Thickness: 5.33 mm
Weight: 4.7 g

Discovery dates

Date(s) of discovery: Sunday 29th January 2017

Personal details

Found by: This information is restricted for your login.
Recorded by: Mr Alex Bliss
Identified by: Mr Alex Bliss

Other reference numbers

Treasure case number: 2017T272

Materials and construction

Primary material: Silver
Completeness: Fragment
Surface Treatment: Gilded

Spatial metadata

Region: South West (European Region)
County or Unitary authority: Dorset (County)
District: North Dorset (District)
To be known as: Tarrant Crawford

Spatial coordinates

Grid reference source: From finder
Unmasked grid reference accurate to a 100 metre square.

References cited

No references cited so far.

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Timeline of associated dates

Audit data

Recording Institution: SF
Created: 2 years ago
Updated: 10 months ago

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