In the 16th to 19th centuries bone marrow was enjoyed as a real delicacy. A relatively cheap cut to cook with, the upper echelons of society introduced the accoutrement, the marrow spoon and later marrow scoop to ensure that etiquette was maintained during their devouring.
Baked in sluberkens, small pasties filled with marrow and sugar, or eaten as marrow porridge, marrow was also enjoyed as a delicacy during the reign of Queen Anne, served during much more formal dinners to previous centuries.
Originally a spoon with a narrow scoop terminal, the marrow spoon evolved to the marrow scoop where the bowl of the spoon became far more elongated with a much narrower scoop at the other end. The earliest recorded marrow spoon is 1692 and was often found as part of a travelling set.
Within our sale on the 14th July in Edinburgh, we are pleased to offer both marrow spoons and scoops. Our rare and early example lot 322 from the reign of William III shows us that the marrow spoon emerged prior to the reign of Queen Anne.
Makers such as Garrard & co., Hester Bateman, feature within the selection included in our forthcoming auction and those well respected silversmiths undoubtedly would have been asked for commissions. A good example of this is Lot 293, a Victorian Silver Marrow Scoop, which appears to with the crest of the New Club of Edinburgh- Founded in 1787.
The New Club of Edinburgh, a private members club is Scotland’s oldest club and originally resided on St. Andrews Square. Still housed in the New Town of Edinburgh, the club is nestled in the centre of Princes Street and still is very much involved with Edinburgh life with the Duke of Edinburgh the patron.
Unusual patterns feature within the collection including Grecian pattern, Lily pattern and a Queen’s variant honeysuckle heel. This may have been due to influences further afield illustrated with examples from Copenhagen and the continent even with example of further afield such as Quebec and from the export market of India and China. Due to the introduction of rationing between 1940-52 the popular delicacy of marrow on toast did decline.
The marrow scoop collection on offer in our forthcoming Jewellery, Watches & Silver auction offers an insight into the dining experience of an earlier epoch. However, due to a recent resurgence in a nature to plate eating ethos, these accoutrements are still very much of use to the modern diner.