My Gallery - Rococo Naturalistic Spoons
These Naturalistic teaspoons in variety designs could be characterised by a leaf-shaped bowl, twig shaped stem with leaves, flowers and insects in some cases, and enthusiasm for imitating precisely a natural forms. The size of these spoons is larger than of the Rococo Grand pattern. The characteristics of the design are clearly distinguished from of the Rococo Grand pattern. On the other hand some common characteristics with Rococo Grand pattern are obvious like the S & C scrolls as Arcanthus motief on the top of the stem, especially of the teaspoons made by Francis Harrache and John I Derussat.
Consequently we can trace the path of evolution from the Rococo Grand pattern to the Naturalistic pattern.
12 Rococo Naturalistic teaspoons by John I Derussat
Set of twelve cast silver-gilt leaf shaped teaspoons, circa 1750, by Huguenot silversmith John I Derussat (1700?-1759?), with a pair of silver-gilt sugar tongs, London circa 1830 by a famous crown jeweler Robert Garrard II (1793 - 1881) cased in the box probably made by Garrard's workshop at that time. In 1830s people admired Rococo design again after neo-classic style boom. Rococo revival movements started with enthusiasm for collecting Rococo items produced in mid-1750. John I Derussat is the most important silversmith in the naturalistic spoon history and made many important tea equipage in mid-1750s. These twelve spoons were made as such a set with a pair of tea tongs and cased in the original shagreen box. Unfortunately a pair of tea tongs and box were broken, only twelve spoons suvived. At the end of 1820s, probably Robert Garrard II or his collegue found out and purchased twelve spoons by John I Derussat and he re-engineered original Rococo naturalistic design and produced his own naturalistic style pair of tongs. This design was applied on teaspoon also and became one of the most sophisticated Rococo revival design by Robert Garrard. (See Rococo Revivalsection)
Dimensions of a spoon: 112mm long; 19g weight.
Dimensions of a pair of tongs: 132mm long; 54g weight.
6 Rococo Naturalistic teaspoons, unmarked, circa 1750
A set of six George II cast, sterling silver naturalistic teaspoons, chased with a leaf design. Circa 1750. Unmarked. The bowl is chased in a leaf pattern with a serated edge all round. There is another leaf on a stem half-way down the handle of the spoon and the end of the handle is chased in a scrolling leaf shape. On the back of this, on each spoon is a plain cartouche on which is engraved a family crest of a griffon's head looking right.
The design of these spoons are nearly identical with John I Derrusat's twelve spoons and Francis Harrache's four spoons menioned above.
Dimensions:112 mm, Weight:16g
Cased Set of 12 Rococo teaspoons and a pair of sugar tongs by Francis Harrache
Set of twelve silver-gilt teaspoons and a pair of sugar tongs made by Francis Harrache, circa 1750. Five of twelves are unmarked and seemed to be made by the other silversmith because of different mould shapes and design of engravings in very details. A pair of tea tongs is also unmarked.
Dimensions of a pair of tongs: 120mm long; 32g weight.
Dimensions of a spoon: 116mm long; 17g weight.
Upper: unmarked, Lower: marked by Fransic HarracheUpper: unmarked, Lower : marked by Fransic Harrache
12 Rococo teaspoons and a pair of sugar tongs, unmarked
Casted set of twelve silver teaspoons and a pair of silver sugar tongs, circa 1750. There is no hallmark and maker's mark. This common characteristics of the Rococo naturalistic spoons suggests that these items were producted in unusual environment. A few identified makers marks appeared on the naturalistic spoons are all of Huguenot silversmiths. Why did the Huguenot silversmiths dominate this type of products? Probably the techniques required to cast these delicate and complicated forms were distinctive and far beyond the average skills of English silversmiths at that time. On the other hand the designs and skills applied for the unmarked naturalistic spoons were clearly distinguished from ones made by the identified Huguenot silversmiths. Who did make these ones? This question leads us to the structure of the silversmith's workshop. They were very well skilled journey men like "Maynard Master" who worked for Paul de Lamerie workshop in mid-1730s. However his identity remains obscure while his hand is distinctive. He was probably German origin and had very sophisticated casting techniques and design sense which were trained in Meisen china factories.
Dimensions of a spoon: 120mm long; 22g weight.
Dimensions of a pair of tongs: 133mm long; 44g weight.
Cased Tea Equipage, unmarked
Very well casted set of twelve silver teaspoons, a pair of silver sugar tongs and cream ladle in the original shagreen box, unmarked, circa 1750.
Dimensions of a pair of tongs: 120mm long; 40g weight.
Dimensions of a spoon: 121mm long; 17g weight.
Dimensions of a cream ladle: 113mm long; 20g weight.
This set was auctioned at Christie's South Kensington on 30 September 2008 and sescribed as follows;
A NATURALISTIC SILVER TEA EQUIPAGE, UNMARKED, ENGLISH, PROBABLY MID-18TH CENTURY. Comprising a set of twelve teaspoons with veined leaf bowls, the leafy stalk stems decorated on top with a lady bird and at the back with a caterpillar, together with a pair of sugar nips and a cream ladle en suite, the latter with fruiting vine-chased bowl, contained in a black shagreen box lined in green silk and velvet, divided into three compartments.
It was sold at £1,125 (includes buyer's premium) to the estimate £600-£800.