This fiddle-headed teaspoon was found in Orange County, North Carolina. The teaspoon is made from coin silver, is worn due to time, has the engraving “FL” in cursive on the front and is stamped with “J. Lynch” on the back. The teaspoon has a unique and ornate curvature around the dip of the head and widens right before the connection to the handle (“Fiddle Headed Teaspoon”). This teaspoon was most likely used in the home of a wealthy family in Orange County because it was a new trend in silverware as well as its coin silver content.
The fiddle-headed teaspoon sparked popularity in England during the 1760’s (Harper’s Bazaar). With this trend and popularity, it most likely exported to a harbor in Baltimore, Maryland, where craftsman John Lynch (J. Lynch) was inspired and created the fiddle-headed teaspoon found in Orange County, North Carolina (“Flatware Patterns” & “Spoons J Lynch”).
The date is estimated to be created around 1805, however, due to information found, it could have very well been created or used prior to that time period, in the later 1700’s. John Lynch worked in Baltimore starting in the 1780’s, perfecting his craft and making many pieces of silver dinnerware (“Spoons J Lynch”). This could very well indicate that the fiddled-headed teaspoon was up-to-date with the popular UK trend and was created on the cusp of the 19th century, providing a stylish and trendy piece for the family in Orange County (Leonard). Although it is not sterling silver, the silver coin could have provided monetary worth and was potentially passed through the family as a family heirloom.
This fiddle-headed teaspoon provides proof of high-class society in the Orange County area and gives insight into their daily instruments of use in regards to food.
“Fiddle-Headed Teaspoon :: Images of North Carolina.” Digital NC, Orange County; 1800s.
“Flatware Patterns.” Flatware Patterns – All about Collecting Spoons, Antique Silver Spoons.
Leonard P. “Old Silver.” Harper’s Bazar; 1901. https://goo.gl/qmCZre.
“Spoons J Lynch.” Twickenham Antiques, Inc. https://goo.gl/PD1m2p.