Another mystery utensil

I know the one on the left is a tomato server, but any ideas on the smaller one on the right? Thanks!

  • Posted by: EmilyC
  • May 13, 2013
  • 2290 views
  • 44 Comments
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34 Comments

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Kitchen Butterfly
Kitchen Butterfly May 13, 2013

Dont know the answer but have learnt a whole lot!!!!! Thanks!

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Voted the Best Reply!

jmburns
jmburns May 13, 2013

Cherry Tomato Server? Lol.

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Droplet
Droplet May 13, 2013

Haha...That was great

EmilyC
EmilyC May 13, 2013

My husband guessed the same thing! : )

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jmburns
jmburns May 13, 2013

If it is 6 to 7 inches in length it could be a "Bon Bon" server.

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jmburns
jmburns May 13, 2013

If it is 6 to 7 inches in length it could be a "Bon Bon Server"

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jmburns
jmburns May 13, 2013

If it is 6 to 7 inches in length it could be a "Bon Bon Server"

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EmilyC
EmilyC May 13, 2013

It's 4.5 inches...

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Pegeen
Pegeen May 13, 2013

"cherry tomato server" - I'm still giggling.
It appears you have a pierced bon bon spoon:
http://replacements.com/piecetype/flat4.htm

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Pegeen
Pegeen May 13, 2013

Alternatively... well it's for serving something wet, so could also be for relish or something like a whole cranberry sauce.

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healthierkitchen
healthierkitchen May 13, 2013

Emily - I think I have the exact same piece, maybe even the same pattern that was my mother's. I have to admit she used it for jellied cranberry sauce slices ;). What exactly is a bon bon spoon?

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creamtea
creamtea May 13, 2013

I have that pattern, from my grandfather. But not that specific serving piece...

healthierkitchen
healthierkitchen May 13, 2013

I guess what I really mean, is what exactly constitutes a bon bon that it would require a slotted server?

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Droplet
Droplet May 13, 2013

Another kind of specialty pierced spoon I've seen is a pea server, though at 4.5 inches it probably was intended as a candy server, as mentioned.

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Pegeen
Pegeen May 15, 2013

Droplet, I'd have to go do some homework, but don't you think a pea server would have a bowl-shaped spoon? To counter-act the peas rolling around and off the edges of the serving piece. A flat server would not work.

SKK
SKK May 13, 2013

My aunt used something like this as a candy server. 55 years ago. Both pieces are lovely!

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Hilarybee
Hilarybee May 13, 2013

I have this same piece, it came with a 120 year old china set that I inherited. My granny used it to scoop tea bags out of the tea pot. Not sure if tea scooper is its technical use--but I still use mine that way.

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Maedl
Maedl May 13, 2013

During the Victorian period, silver sets included specialized pieces for serving just about any food you could imagine. So, I'd use it for whatever seems practical--including cherry tomatoes. See http://www.slpl.org/slpl/interests/Article240133029.asp

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ATL
ATL May 13, 2013

I wonder if it's a berry spoon. It's about the right size and shape. Uses for service berries, of course.

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ATL
ATL May 13, 2013

Correction--hate typos! Used to serve berries

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EmilyC
EmilyC May 13, 2013

Thanks everyone! How interesting that several of you have or recognize the serving piece. My mom bought it for $1.00 -- the store owner didn't know its original purpose either. I imagine I'll end up using it mostly for relish or pickled vegetables -- though you all have given me lots of other good ideas on how to use it!

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Pegeen
Pegeen May 14, 2013

healthier kitchen - if I remember correctly, bon bons were soft candies made from chocolate. It was probably frowned upon to stick in your fingers, to ply out some of the candies.

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healthierkitchen
healthierkitchen May 14, 2013

I get the no fingers but why a slotted spoon I wonder?

Greenstuff
Greenstuff May 14, 2013

This one looks quite a bit like yours http://www.ebay.com/itm...

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EmilyC
EmilyC May 16, 2013

Chris, I don't have the smaller spoon in front of me, but I'm almost certain that it's just like the one in the posting! Thanks for sharing the link. If I ever serve bon bons (doubtful), I know just what to use! : )

healthierkitchen
healthierkitchen May 14, 2013

Yup, it did look like Community to me. It's an Oneida silverplate pattern that everyone from certain areas of the Northeast, of a certain age, seems to have regeistered for or been given for a wedding gift. I have many friends whose parents had the same set. My mother and aunt both had it and apparently, my grandmother liked it so much when they got it, that she got some too. I now have service for about 40 and there are about 10 or 12 more place settings floating around the family. My parents married in 1950 in NYC, though one friend's parents who also had it married then too but in Ottawa.

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healthierkitchen
healthierkitchen May 14, 2013

I think the pattern is called Coronation

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Greenstuff
Greenstuff May 14, 2013

Oh my, healthierkitchen! My parents were married in 1949, so that last note sent me to my silver chest. I did not have a round perforated spoon, but I did have one that's about the size and shape of a teaspoon. It's sterling but very light weight. I'm pretty sure I've never used it but am thinking it would be great for olives.

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healthierkitchen
healthierkitchen May 14, 2013

I love repurposing these pieces in creative ways! I use these items I've accumulated in, most likely, unconventional ways, but I prefer using them to leaving them in the drawer or cabinet. I often use a set of fish forks when I serve dessert tortes (for some reason the shape just works) and my daughter persuaded me to hang on to a slew of very pretty teacups with no saucers to use for puddings and mousse.

healthierkitchen
healthierkitchen May 14, 2013

I love this thread! The last item I couldn't identify belonged to my husband's grandmother and turned out to be grape scissors!

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PeteF
PeteF May 15, 2013

My mind immediately went to absinthe spoon!

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Pegeen
Pegeen May 15, 2013

I love this thread too (I have minor OCD regarding silverware). Healthierkitchen, as I pick myself up and sit back down on my chair, I'm going to assume your service is hollow-ware. However, if you have sterling silver service for 40, I just want you to know I am your NEW BEST FRIEND FOREVER. ;-) I think the new "Provisions" site on Food52 will need a whole section devoted to silver and bizarre serving pieces.

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healthierkitchen
healthierkitchen May 16, 2013

it's not sterling but silver-plate!

Pegeen
Pegeen May 16, 2013

OK, I've neglected my family long enough... last post.
The smaller one appears to be Hampton Court.

@PeteF... Yes! Absinthe!

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Pegeen
Pegeen May 16, 2013

Sorry, it's not Hampton. (I'm doing a search for two other people right now...)

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EmilyC
EmilyC May 16, 2013

Pageen -- I think the smaller serving spoon may in fact be Hampton Court, based on the ebay link that Chris shared above!

toddnyc
toddnyc May 16, 2013

In my family service: aspic (tomato or celery) server...

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healthierkitchen
healthierkitchen May 16, 2013

My mother always called it Coronation, if that helps

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EmilyC
EmilyC May 16, 2013

Ah yes, thanks hk!

spiffypaws
spiffypaws May 16, 2013

My Grandmother used the smaller one to serve pickles and pickled veg that were set in bowls at the dinner table.

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Pegeen
Pegeen May 17, 2013

Spiffy, how cool is that - silver on the table. Do you remember what kind of pickled veg's?

Pegeen
Pegeen May 17, 2013

We must get to the bottom of this. Mid-century, silverware-makers often made the same patterns with different names. Such as "Coronation" vs "Hampton Court."

EmilyC, if you email a couple close-up photos of your cherry tomato server (the handle end, the stem and the spoon) to [email protected], they will identify the pattern.

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susan g
susan g June 18, 2013

Eatyourbooks.com has a little article about table food implements, with this paragraph: I think the big thing that happened in the 19th century was a new civilization of table manners -- a new anxiety at the table about touching food, handling food. These specialized spoons go along with that because it's a way of never feeling you have to get too close to food with all of its stickiness and noise. It's a way of being extremely polite. There were even special solid silver potato chip servers marketed by Tiffany's, which I think is a very rarefied item. I'm not sure many households have those today.
There's more in the full article, based on an interview on The Splendid Table -- interesting! http://www.eatyourbooks.com/blog/2013/6/17/what-food-implement-is-used-by-every-culture-in-the-world

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EmilyC
EmilyC June 18, 2013

This is fascinating, susan g -- thanks for sharing!

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