GEORGE III SILVER ARTICULATED CHEESE SCOOP
John Lawrence, Birmingham, 1814
Mark JL in rectangular punch
Shown in Jackson's, Birmingham Supplementary List, found on Caddy Spoon, Mr. P. Phillips
The shovel form scoop with silver shaft and handle having a slotted sliding "push" mechanism, reeded ferrule
Condition: Excellent; the spade with a minute indentation to the side, visible in images above'
the shaft with two tight shrinkage lines; small scratches appropriate to age and usage
Stilton cheese, introduced c1720, is named for the village of Stilton, about 80 miles north of London -
although it was never made there. In the 18th century, the town of Stilton was a staging post for coaches,
where horses were changed and weary travelers sought refreshment en route to Scotland and other Northern cities.
In fact, the inn owners vied with one another to see who could provide the swiftest service and best food. Cooper Thornhill,
the landlord of the famous Bell Inn, introduced these travelers to the creamy, blue-veined cheese, which he purchased from
cheese maker, Frances Pawlett of nearby Melton Mowbray. In 1789, Mr. Thornhill, being something of an entrepreneur,
staged an illegal bare-knuckle boxing match, erecting a tent for over 3000 spectators, many of whom were impeccably
dressed gentlemen in frock coats and high collars. As wine, bread and Stilton cheese were plentiful, perhaps some gentleman
bent his silver spoon and determined to have his silversmith to invent the new implement. This is conjecture, but Stilton
cheese scoops appears shortly thereafter in 1790. They were popular until c1914, when wedges of cheese
replaced the whole of half Stilton wheel.
Stilton, the King of Cheeses, is best served at room temperature, needing a curved implement for serving without crumbling.
It is still made in much the same way as it was in the early 1700's, when a local Wymondham saying became popular:
"Drink a pot of ale, eat of scoop of Stilton, every day, you will make 'old bones'."
1.2 Total Oz.
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