Silver & Silverplate
Ever since it was discovered silver, like gold has been converted into gleaming artefacts of great splendour and beauty. Such symbols of wealth and power are collected not only for their superb workmanship, but smaller more ornate pieces also have a unique attraction. This is in part because silver has always been a precious metal. The intrinsic value of silver has had one undesirable effect, silver objects have long been regarded as recyclable and thousands of pieces have been lost over the centuries, melted down to finance wars, to cover up theft, or simply to make something more fashionable.
Silver spoons with fig shaped bowls and handles topped by figures of apostles, or in the case of the master spoon of a set of thirteen, by the figure of Christ. A number of full length figures of the Virgin Mary are also known. Popular in Britain, Germany and else where from about 1490 to 1675,they became collectable in Victorian times and have been faked, forged and reproduced ever since. No complete sets of 13 are known to remain from before the 1500's.