Antique treen spoons are such a diverse area,, The often humble wooden spoons were made for a number of different fuctions ranging from cooking and eating to spoons made specifically for invalids, children, medicine spoons and not forgetting the often elaborate and painstakingly hand made romantic Welsh love spoons.
Within each of these areas there are variations to look for from the shape and size of the spoon bowls to the angle or the thickness of the handles on the spoons. Some of the antique treen spoons may have initials carved into the handle or better still the date and some decoration.
For me there is nothing more rewarding than finding a spoon which has been used so much that the surface has built up such a patina, thats it's so tactile and irresistible that you just have to run your hand over the smooth, silky spoon bowl.
The images below show;
Image 1 - A humble small spoon with a small bowl, note how much its been used by the wear on part of its handle.
Image 2 -A late 18th century/early 19th century spoon but note at the top of the handle it has been shaped like an arrow head..
Image 3-An 18th century spoon has just the most fabulous colour and again note the unusual angle of this spoon.
Image 6 shows a teaching or invalids spoon, note the angle of the bowl to the handle and the thickening of the handle. Often described as originating in Wales, but found in England as well.
Image 7- An interesting double ended antique treen cooking spoon with two different sized bowls at each end.
Image 8 shows a fabulous Welsh love spoon, all carved from one piece of wood, note these spoons were carved from one piece of wood and during the long evenings, with no electronics, they would carve a spoon often with just a pen knife, some of them must have taken ages it must have been true love....... !Some of the symbols often found on spoons are hearts meaning 'my heart is yours', comma shapes representing the soul, meaning deep great affection, wheels meaning good fortune and as in the case of this example a key holes meaning the key to the heart.
Image 9 shows a range of Welsh Cawl spoons used to eat Cawl a type of stew.