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Author Topic: spoon warmer or toothpick holder? Brit help needed!  (Read 1824 times)

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Offline mrvaselineglass

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spoon warmer or toothpick holder? Brit help needed!
« on: May 01, 2007, 12:49:33 AM »
I need some info from our British experts.  Is this a spoon warmer or a toothpick holder?
http://www.vaselineglass.org/lotussmall07.jpg

The glass is about 2 3/8" from the top rim to where it meets the silver ball, where the stem fits into the ball opening.

I saw a similar one on ebay, and they referred to it as a spoon warmer, and could not find a good definition on the web as far as what makes a spoon warmer different than a toothpick holder.

My guess is that this is a Richardson piece, as they were very big into flowers, and the uranium content is low as compared to glass that I know Webb made.  Cyril Manley mentions the lower uranium salts content and that Webb increased it to make the glass brighter at a later date. 

If anyone knows who made this piece, that would be an added bonus!  The frame is only marked EPNS, each initial within a little circle.

regards
Dave Peterson
aka: Mr. Vaseline Glass

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Offline Sue C

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Re: spoon warmer or toothpick holder? Brit help needed!
« Reply #1 on: May 01, 2007, 08:21:48 AM »
Hi Dave, i doubt very much if this is a spoon warmer which were normaly made from metal (usually silver) and contained hot
water,they could range in size from about 6in to i think 10in.
When gravy was served at dinner a spoonwarmer was used to put the gravy ladle into to stop the fat from congealing as far as i know.

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Offline Pip

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Re: spoon warmer or toothpick holder? Brit help needed!
« Reply #2 on: May 01, 2007, 09:01:02 AM »
Hi, I have one similar, mine is a modern piece bought from a top retailer in London, Thomas Goode - it's a salt and came with a tiny spoon.  I'm presuming yours is the same size as mine, small?  Incidentally, I would assume spoon warmers were ceramic (or metal as Sue says) not glass.  If I can find my salt I'll take a picture and put it up on here (it gets used at Christmas then put away).

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Offline Frank

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Re: spoon warmer or toothpick holder? Brit help needed!
« Reply #3 on: May 01, 2007, 09:20:31 AM »
No reason a spoon warmer should not be glass. Invariably they are angled and I always understood them to be used for individual soup spoons. I have only ever seen metal ones though but as they are not usually labelled with their purpose they could get described as something else.
Frank A.
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Offline Pip

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Re: spoon warmer or toothpick holder? Brit help needed!
« Reply #4 on: May 01, 2007, 09:45:01 AM »
No reason a spoon warmer should not be glass. Invariably they are angled and I always understood them to be used for individual soup spoons. I have only ever seen metal ones though but as they are not usually labelled with their purpose they could get described as something else.

Ah OK, thanks Frank - well mine definitely isn't a spoon warmer because a) it's too small b) the glass is very thin and fragile and c) it was sold as a salt with a matching spoon and a pepper container.  I'm not au-fait with spoon warmers I'll admit but I'd still guess that the one posted in this thread is a salt missing it's spoon.

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Offline Frank

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Re: spoon warmer or toothpick holder? Brit help needed!
« Reply #5 on: May 01, 2007, 09:54:50 AM »
You are probably right, had not noticed the dimension! Probably too small to be a spoon warmer! I cannot find any around I must have sold them or they are still boxed away somewhere. But definitely a fair bit bigger than this item.
Frank A.
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Offline mrvaselineglass

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Re: spoon warmer or toothpick holder? Brit help needed!
« Reply #6 on: May 01, 2007, 11:41:07 AM »
thanks all!
there is currently an auction (that I can't bid on, as funds don't go as deep as the opening bid) that used that term and it looks a lot like mine, only this one is 6" tall and mine is 2" tall.  very cool piece.  any thoughts?  spoon holder or something else?  it is too big to be a salt or a toothpick holder.
http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=170105704902
apologies ahead of time if someone had this on their watch list (something I usually don't do).  yes, the base of this is vaseline/uranium glass.
regards
Dave Peterson

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Offline Lustrousstone

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Re: spoon warmer or toothpick holder? Brit help needed!
« Reply #7 on: May 01, 2007, 12:12:32 PM »
I would yours is for toothpicks or condiments and the ebay one is for spoons. Size apart, the ebay one has a supporting lip to stop the spoon from flipping out

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Offline mrvaselineglass

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Re: spoon warmer or toothpick holder? Brit help needed!
« Reply #8 on: May 01, 2007, 12:30:02 PM »
Does anyone know what MY piece was called originally or what it would have been marketed as?  I think we have it narrowed down to toothpick holder or open salt with spoon.  I am going to put this in an upcoming book, and am trying to be accurate.  thanks!

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Offline Bernard C

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Re: spoon warmer or toothpick holder? Brit help needed!
« Reply #9 on: May 01, 2007, 02:14:33 PM »
Dave — I've checked Silber & Fleming.   There is nothing exactly like it, but it is, perhaps, worth noting that shell-shaped items are always described as spoon warmers in metal, and flower holders or components of flower stands in glass.

I don't see how it could contain enough hot water long enough for it to function as a spoon warmer.

And I think it is too complicated for a salt.

My first reaction on seeing your photograph was that it was a lovely miniature flower holder or epergne.   I can visualise these being sold to the public singly, or in sets of six, one for each place setting, together with a matching elaborate table centre.   Another more obvious use is in the Lyons Corner House coffee shop setting as a miniature posy holder to decorate the table for two, a custom still kept today, albeit rather less elaborately.   The handle on the one on eBay convinces me that it was for the coffee shop setting, either on land (fresh flowers) or on an ocean liner (artificial flowers).   I wonder how many of these were kept as precious souvenirs of that beautiful and romantic first Brief Encounter.

There seems to be a general reluctance on this message board to consider commercial use, when it seems to me that that was where the bulk of the spending power was.   I don't know why.

As you may have noticed, I am not keen on posting on topics that contain references to live auctions, nor on those that cite references to old authorities for whom "Don't know" was an unacceptable attribution.   I seem to have broken both of my own rules here!

Bernard C.  8)
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