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.
Today’s spoon is a souvenir of Queen Elizabeth’s Silver Jubilee in 1977.
My mother-in-law, Margie, picked this spoon, and dictated the post to me as follows:
“Oh! The Coronation! We had to watch this on TV, and it was in black and white on a 6 inch screen, I think—When did TV come out?—and there was a magnifying glass on it so you could see better. And if your TV didn’t work you had to go down to the TV store and get a tube and then you’d replace the tube. But to get back to the spoon, it was really amazing to watch her and her gown was beautiful and her frickin robe with all the crap was amazing and I probably just wanted to be outside playing. Anyway, she should step down, she’s old. But I guess if Charles was my son I wouldn’t want him ruling either.”
My mother-in-law is staying with me, which is awesome, because I’m quite tired of writing about spoons and she said she’d help.
Today’s spoon celebrates the Queen Mum’s 100th birthday, which was on August 4, 2000. I handed the spoon to Margie and told her to feel it, but don’t look at what it was.
She described the spoon thusly: “It’s got a lump in the bowl. How the heck am I supposed to eat with this?”