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Sunday, August 16, 2009

About Teaspoons

The teaspoon is probably the most common piece of sterling flatware in use. If you're like me, you have extra teaspoons in your set. It's so common that we don't give it much thought. But, there are subtle touches to to the teaspoon family.

I assume that all sterling flatware patterns include at least one style of teaspoon, typically in the length range of 5 7/8 inches to 6 inches. This spoon is used mostly to stir hot tea or coffee but it also could be used as an ice cream spoon, a jelly serving spoon, a condiment spoon and other purposes. Notice that I said "hot tea"; here in the South when we say "tea", we most often mean "iced tea".

The picture below illustrates three types of spoons in the Prelude pattern by International. The longest spoon is the standard teaspoon (6 inches). The middle spoon is often called a "youth" spoon (5 3/8 inches). The smallest spoon is a demitasse spoon (4 1/8 inches) used to stir Turkish coffee or espresso.

The middle spoon could also be used as a "five o'clock" spoon. Many patterns include five o'clock spoons that are only about 1/4 inch shorter than standard teaspoons.



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4 comments:

Anonymous said...

I RECENTLY RECEIVED SOME SILVER FLATWARE FROM AN AUNT THAT PASSED AWAY SOME OF IT HAS A SILVERPLATED ATAMPED ON IT BUT SOME OF THE PIECES ONLY HAVE THE COMPANY NAME IE THE PERSON TAT MADE IT IF IT ISN'T STAMPED SILVER PLATE IS IT STERLING CAN YOU HELP THANKS ROBERTA

Silver Jim said...

Hi, Roberta.

If it does not say "Sterling", it's highly likely it is not sterling. Here's an article that discusses this: http://www.examiner.com/sterling-silver-in-national/is-it-sterling-or-silver-plate-silverplate .

Jim

nunya inct said...

Hi, I have some Narragansett Gorham spoons 5 and 7/8 in length that were advertised as 5 o'clock spoons, yet when I compare the bowl size to my Gorham enameled demitasse spoons with the twist handle 5 and 3/4 in length, they are nearly identical. Only the length of the spoon is slightly different. Could you please clarify this a bit more? :)

Silver Jim said...

This is in response to the Narragansett question.

This appears to be a very rare pattern and I cannot gather enough information to answer your question. Other people may have the same problem and could be identifying pieces improperly.

I can say that for most Gorham patterns, a demitasse spoon is just over four inches long. Coffee spoons are usually about 5 and 1/2 inches long and "regular" teaspoons are 6 inches long or just under that. However, since Narragansett is so unusual, the "normal" rules may not apply.

Sorry I could not help.