What Is This Teensy Serving Utensil?

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Antique SpoonPolishing silverware from Aunt Dede’s estate in preparation for a dinner party here, I discovered this tiny 4-inch long slotted serving piece.  Of course, I could google around and discover it’s truth but it would be more fun to ask out there… what is it?

OK, I hear the collective SHE DOES WHAT???  Yes, I polish silver.  Makes me feel very Martha.  Polishing makes silver finer, deepens and enhances the patina.  I’ve only a twice used the dip process that strips tarnish to zero – some pieces I acquired that were a total  trainwreck.  But after that, I polished them.

Now back to this little sweetie slotted spoony thing, tell me what you THINK is its purpose?

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{ 28 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Linda October 19, 2011 at 1:51 pm

I saw another post indicating the service was fashioned to celebrate Queen Elizabeth’s coronation but this is not possible since the service was being sold on the retail market for more than twenty years before she became Queen. Once King Edward abdicated, the crown went to his brother who was Queen Elizabeth’s father.

2 Linda October 19, 2011 at 1:49 pm

another note, please. I saw another post stating it was for Queen Elizabeth’s coronation; however, the pattern was sold in the 1930’s which is many years before Elizabeth was Queen. I remain firmly with the conviction it was for King Edward’s coronation. Once he abdicated, the crown went to his brother who is Elizabeth’s father. Otherwise Elizabeth would never have become queen.

3 Linda October 19, 2011 at 1:45 pm

Hello….it’s a tomato server. The pattern name is Coronation. It was fashioned for celebrating King Edward’s coronation….but then he abdicated. I inherited the same silver service, and love it still!!!

4 Jean at The Delightful Repast October 13, 2010 at 4:56 pm

Patti, this is an older post so you may have given the answer already. The only thing I can think this could possibly be, at 4 inches long, is a bon bon spoon. The other pieces people have named here–jelly server, tomato server, etc–are either much larger or the wrong shape.

5 Kathy Rappaport April 1, 2010 at 10:41 pm


Melinda Lee was just talking about a source for unusual antique silver serving implements on her show about two weeks ago. She has a few on line places where you could find photos and answers.

6 Erika - In Erika's Kitchen March 26, 2010 at 10:40 am

I think it’s an olive spoon. I have a bunch like this. Patti, next time we get together, we have to have a silver party. Before she died my grandmother gave me a large bag of assorted silver pieces she’d collected over 50 years. I have little spoons, cocktail picks, tiny tongs, little tiny forks…it’s fabulous. But I hate polishing, so maybe you’ll inspire me.

7 Vicki July 18, 2009 at 12:09 pm

I believe it is a jellied cranberry sauce server – I see Cathi says that too – I have one a little larger – mine is just about 5 inches and not as pretty as your either…

8 danamccauley June 12, 2009 at 12:44 pm

Yup, Kimberly is right.

9 Jessica Bard June 12, 2009 at 12:29 pm

My vote’s for the Absinthe Spoon or the jelly lifter. My Absinthe spoon however, is pointy at the end so it can rest on the lip of the glass when you poor the booze over the sugar cube…. hmmm…
very interesting….

10 Rebecca Penovich June 12, 2009 at 10:50 am

Just read the other guesses above. Looks like jelly spoon may have the most authoritative documentation. Come to think of it–ladies would probably have used tiny silver tongs for plucking sugar cubes to add to the tea cup.

11 Rebecca Penovich June 12, 2009 at 10:45 am

I think it might be a sugar cube spoon–part of a tea service.

12 elise June 4, 2009 at 8:46 pm

the other elise commenting was very confusing…i thought i was going crazy and didnt remember reading or commenting on your post! i think wendy’s got it right….its the newest addition to the jenny craig line. pretty soon it’ll be on oprah’s favorite things…

13 Melissa June 4, 2009 at 11:05 am

The spoon is a jelly server I believe. Love your your silver, have that pattern myself, got it from my mother and Grandmother. Its Community “Coronation” in honor of Queen Elizabeth’s Coronation.

14 Cathi June 4, 2009 at 8:28 am

Its a cranberry spoon….you used it with the jellied cranberry sauce so popular in the 50’s and 60’s….I have one almost like it. Got to admit. Yours is prettier.
Mine came with a glass dish that held the jellied cranberry sauce.

15 Gretchen June 2, 2009 at 3:31 pm

It’s obviously for straining fat off of separted eggs so that you can put them in your absinthe, along with olives and peas.

16 Melinda June 2, 2009 at 9:37 am

It looks like it’s for straining something, but I can’t imagine what. It’s really beautiful, though, and I think Jan’s comment is the most creative one here!

17 Cindy Johnson June 1, 2009 at 5:17 pm

I think it is a spoon/strainer for olives or peas.

18 Lynne June 1, 2009 at 1:20 pm

I was looking on line to see about the Absinthe idea….oh my goodness. In England, way back in olden times (before I was even a thought) one used to use a spoon as a sugar cube strainer for watering down Absinthe (an anise flavored spirit: distilled and highly alcoholic). Here is a comment regarding that tasty drink. “After the first glass, you see things as you wish they were. After the second, you see things as they are not. Finally you see things as they really are, which is the most horrible thing in the world.” I doubt the sugar ever helped. Soooo Patti, how was the party and what did you use the spoon for?

Patti comments: the party was terrific and the jury is still out on the little spoon. More comments, anyone?

19 Elise May 31, 2009 at 6:10 pm

Now that I’m looking at it again there’s no way it could be a tomato lifter, too small! (How did I miss the cherry next to it.) D’oh. I would think an egg separator would be more concave, this looks rather flat. Maybe a serving fork for tiny blinis on which to serve caviar?

20 Susan Diamond May 31, 2009 at 1:09 pm

I’m with Jane. I think it’s an egg separator. Far more elegant, but not as exciting as the one I saw recently in a New Hampshire gift shop. It was a giant moose face, with holes in the moose’s nostrils for the whites to drip from! Yum! 🙂

21 Jan Hocker May 31, 2009 at 12:41 pm

Maybe it’s a conversation piece. It sits next to all the other pieces of silver at a dinner party and if the guests are not well-acquainted, it’s “And what is this elegant little piece for?” and away we go…

22 briarcat May 31, 2009 at 6:56 am

My guess it’s for something small and elegant. Petit fours would be too big. Bonbons?

23 Jane May 31, 2009 at 12:04 am

I think it is an egg separator for really, really rich people. Really SMALL rich people.

24 Kimberly May 30, 2009 at 9:44 pm

That is an Absinthe spoon.

25 Stephanie May 30, 2009 at 4:35 pm

I think it is to take out a tea bag and get all of the flavor out of the bag and back in the cup … total guess, but that’s what I would use it for

26 Wendy May 30, 2009 at 3:40 pm

I think it’s called a FAT-BE-GONE because by the time whatever is in it reaches your mouth, all the fattening parts are still on the plate and only the really nutritious stuff reaches the tummy. I can rationalize anything.

Seriously, I have no clue! I’ll be curious to find out.

27 Gloria Mathys May 30, 2009 at 11:54 am

Your slotted spoon is too elegant to use the way I use mine: Spooning out sliced cucumbers soaking in vinegar, baked beans, anything that needs to be separated from the liquid it’s in. But I think your lovely silver thing would turn black in horror if it were used that way. So what DO you use it for??

28 Elise May 30, 2009 at 11:47 am

I think it might be a tomato slice lifter. I have seen these before on eBay, years ago when I was actively collecting sterling. Beautiful piece you have there.

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