…OK, 10,000 might be a bit of an exaggeration, but we do have a LOT of spoons in our collection! And over the past several weeks I’ve seen most of them. We are currently reviewing the anthropology collections of the museum (which involves checking the documentation of the objects and photographing them), and doing so thematically – the first two themes that our teams are looking at are Magic and Food. I am currently on the team looking at food, and what did we find in Bay One, Shelf A? Spoons. Lots of spoons, from all over the world (but with a bias towards Africa, which must reflect the interests of some of our past collectors/curators. Or perhaps spoons are more heavily used in Africa than elsewhere? I’m not an anthropologist. Or a cutlery expert. Theories on a postcard, please!).
And I’ve been surprised at how interesting it has been…some of the spoons aren’t much to look at, but some of them look like this! We took so many photos of this spoon, and still they don’t quite capture the intricacy of the carving or the glory of the whole object. These two little beauties from India are also some of my favourites. They are made of brass, with scorpion-shaped handles! They are both different as well – one has his legs bent under him so that he stands up, and the other has his tail raised to strike!
When we have time, we’ve been trying to put some of our favourite things on the museum’s new(ish) Tumblr page for all the world to see. It’s been quite popular so far, and it’s been fun to see the reaction to our objects. We’ve seen some wonderful spoons made of animal materials (the ones involving animals are always my favourites!) including antler, horn and bone this week, which are quite stunning. I will try to get some images of them up on Tumblr soon.
I feel like I’ve used the word ‘spoon’ too many times in this post. But I’ve lost the ability to talk about anything else now – I am immersed in a world of spoons (at least until we finish the next couple of shelves and get on to knives…)