Seventeenth century Dublin trefid spoons are extremely scarce. Last year a single rat-tailed example by Andrew Gregory, 1685, sold for €9000 at Adams of Dublin.
Pairs are rarer still, with just one recorded (those by Abel
Ram, 1663 mentioned in Irish Stuart Silver by Tony Sweeney) prior
to the emergence of another at
Cheffins in Cambridge.
These 4oz Charles II spoons without rat tails were engraved to
the tapering stems with the monogram SSM and carry
very clear marks, shown below, for Dublin (the crowned harp), 1676
(a gothic letter B) and the maker Edward Swann.
There were some discreet signs of repair to the heel and bowl of
one, but both were considered to have survived in good
Cheffins' specialist Richard Heywood said the spoons had come to
the sale on June 18 from a family north of Cambridge where they had
been for three generations, but their history beyond that is not
With the estimate set at a very attractive £800-1200, they
sparked international interest before selling to a buyer from
Ireland at £25,000 (plus 20% buyer's premium).
The price paid may be the highest ever for Irish flatware.
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