While such early spoons emerge at auction fairly regularly, what made this example so special was the disc-end pattern which has hardly been seen in the salerooms in the last 20 years.
The form was unique to Scotland in the first half of the 17th century, although a very small group of 'Death Head' spoons from York are similar. Most are now in museums but this 7in (18.5cm) long spoon had never left the family of the original owner and had descended directly to the vendor.
Marked PN for Peter Neilson, Edinburgh (see image below), it was dated to the mid-1600s (the engraved 1578 date on the disc terminal was thought to be a later addition).
It is also rare to see an early piece of Scottish silver engraved with the initials of the original owner, Bessy Boyd who was the daughter of Archbishop James Boyd of Glasgow.
Given an estimate of £15,000-25,000 for the sale on August 14, it sold to a private buyer.
The buyer's premium was 25/20%.