The caddy spoon evolved from the original scallop shaped natural shell...to many forms of material. They are found in treen, tortoiseshell, pearl, ivory, bone, ceramic ware, silver-plate and sterling silver. Most collectors are concerned with the sterling silver spoons as they allow the collector to date the spoon and know the maker and location of it's production. The earliest spoons were in the late 1760's and the earliest dated spoon being about 1777. It is important to be very careful of any claims for a date prior to 1776-1777.
Perhaps the most aesthetically produced spoons came from the London silversmiths. The relationships between the London makers was very intimate, almost a "closed shop" group. Most of the London makers did their apprenticeship with this handful of select group and their allegiance was well noted.
What collector doesn't feel excitement at the mention of the Bateman family of silversmiths, especially Hester Bateman. When John Bateman died in 1760 his business was left to wife, Hester Bateman. At 52 years of age, Hester found herself in the situation that was not uncommon, she assumed the mantle of the business. The Bateman story is unique in that it follows several generations of the family. The first of Hester's marks was registered in April 1761 when she entered as a "small worker". It wasn't until 1774, at age 66, that she was registered as a spoon maker. Hester produced a large number of caddy spoons and this was carried on in the Bateman family for more than half a century. The following list of the Bateman family is on record with the Goldsmith's Hall records:
HESTER BATEMAN LONDON DATE WORN
HESTER BATEMAN LONDON 1787-88
THE FOLLOWING RELATIVES OF HESTER BATEMAN REGISTERED ON THESE DATES IN LONDON:
Peter and Jonathan...............1790
Peter and Ann......................1791
Peter, Ann and William (No. 1) 1800
Peter and William (No 1)......1805
William (No.2) and Daniel Bell....1839
Any Hester Bateman caddy spoon that does not conform to the conventional form should be treated with caution. That is not to say they are rare, however, a collector may expect to pay nearly twice the amount for one of her spoons compared to a spoon by another maker. It is believed that Hester Bateman retired on December 7th, 1790 the date when her son's Peter and Jonathan entered their marks. Another female London maker, Elizabeth Morley, is also highly collected.
Caddy spoons were also produced in Sheffield, Birmingham and to a lesser degree, Chester and Exeter. The spoons from the Channel Islands, Ireland and Scotland are also sought, however, not as readily available as the London and Birmingham spoons.
There is a great deal written about caddy spoons by John Norie. His book is out of print and not available. He was, perhaps, the leading authority on caddy spoons. His supplement is still available through Amazon UK. It is not as detailed as the original book and is quite brief in contrast. If you have a specific spoon that you would like to have located in the John Norie book, "Caddy Spoons an Illustrated Guide" please email be a picture of the front and back of the spoon and I will look for it in the book. Also, if you have an interest in a specific spoon maker, again let me know via email and I will try to provide the information on the maker from Norie's book.
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SOME OF THE INDIVIDUAL CADDY SPOONS IN OUR COLLECTION:
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