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For an excellent introduction to runes, we recommend Martin Findell’s book published by British Museum Press.

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apostle spoon

  • Object type

  • Museum number


  • Description

    Apostle spoon; silver; gilt terminal of St Peter wearing a breast-plate; sacred monogram engraved in the bowl; London hallmarks and maker's mark.

  • Date

    • 1536-1537
  • Production place

  • Materials

  • Technique

  • Dimensions

    • Length: 19.5 centimetres (approx)
    • Weight: 80.6 grains
  • Inscriptions

      • Inscription Type

      • Inscription Position

      • Inscription Content

        T [1536-7]
      • Inscription Type

        maker's mark
      • Inscription Position

      • Inscription Comment

      • Inscription Type

        sacred monogram
      • Inscription Script

      • Inscription Position

      • Inscription Content

      • Inscription Comment

  • Curator's comments

    In set with 1981,0701.1-13.
    Set exhibited, 'Gothic: Art for England 1400-1547', V&A Publications, 2003, no. 195, p. 323, ill.
    Gallery Label: Gallery 46, Case 6, August 2005
    A set of 13 ‘Apostle’ spoons
    Silver, silver gilt, London, 1536-7
    Purchased with aid from the NHMF; MLA 1981,7-1,13
    Spoons were fashionable personal items, frequently mentioned in documents and usually given as christening gifts. ‘Apostle’ spoons, the finials formed as one of the 12 Apostles, were especially popular.


  • Location


  • Exhibition history


    2003-2004 9 Oct-18 Jan, London, V&A, Gothic: Art for England 1400-1547, no.195, p.323, ill.

  • Condition

    Key and book emblems broken away.

  • Conservation

    See treatments 

    Treatment date

    23 June 2005

    Reason for treatment

    Permanent Exhibition

    Treatment proposal

    Clean- Remove tarnish.


    The spoon is in good condition overall.

    There is surface dirt and dust present.

    There is tarnish present on the silver surface of the object in many areas.

    Treatment details

    Cotton swabs of Acetone (propan-1-one/dimethyl ketone) were used to remove the dirt and dust from the surface.

    Cotton swabs of Goddards Hotel Silver Dip were used to remove the surface tarnish (In fume cupboard). The objects were then rinsed thoroughly for at least 10 minutes in running tap water to remove any silver dip residues. The object was lightly steam cleaned from a good 20cm distance to remove any further residues of silver dip.The object was dried thoroughly with kleenex tissue to remove water through capiliiary action and then additionally dried using the hot air blower.

    There were a few tarnish marks on the bowl of the spoon that were not removed with silver dip. Silvo silver and chrome (cotton wadding,white spirit,Newburgh chalk,china clay) was used to remove them. White spirit was used to remove any remains of Silvo follwed by swabs of Acetone.

    About these records 

  • Subjects

  • Associated names

  • Acquisition name

  • Acquisition date


  • Department

    Britain, Europe and Prehistory

  • Registration number


Apostle spoon; silver; gilt terminal of the Virgin Mary with lily in left hand; sacred monogram engraved in the bowl; London hallmarks and maker's mark.

Apostle spoon; silver; gilt terminal of the Virgin Mary with lily in left hand; sacred monogram engraved in the bowl; London hallmarks and maker's mark.

Image description



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Object reference number: MCT16939

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