I purchased this Elizabeth I Seal Top Spoon in the gift shop at the Fort Raleigh National Historic Site on Roanoke Island in North Carolina last week — it was the only spoon they had for sale and ties in nicely to their Lost Colony play (which I now regret not seeing.)
According to the card that came with it, seal top spoons were a rarity before the late 1550s, but became very popular from about 1560 to 1670. During this time, people often carried personal eating utensils as well as letter-writing materials when they traveled. Most letters and documents were sealed with wax and spoons like this were often manufactured with the owner’s seal on the end of the handle. The original of this spoon would have been made around 1580, and has a full Tudor Rose seal.
We enjoyed our trip to the Wright Brothers National Memorial yesterday, despite the unceasing rain. It’s been 31 years since I last visited Kitty Hawk, where I was almost washed out to sea by the rip tide (dad saved me, thankfully).
The old 1950’s visitor center was going through renovations yesterday, so it was closed, but the gift shop in the temporary visitor center had 25% off spoons, which made up for it.
I picked up this spoon today at the gift shop at Cape Hatteras National Seashore, crossing another National Park off the bucket list.
The entrance to the parking lot was, like many parts of the road leading to Hatteras, partially flooded. We thought about turning around, but my brave son-in-law trudged past the sign warning of snakes in the water to make sure it wasn’t too deep to take the rental car through. The rental car was up to the task and my son-in-law escaped unbitten.
The Cape Hatteras Lighthouse was closed due to lightning strikes in the area, but we did get to go in the museum.