Sugar was imported to America from England in colonial times. It was named castor or caster sugar which is a very finely ground sugar. It dissolves quickly in tea, coffee or cooking ingredients for cakes, icings, pies and other sweets. Granulated sugar is a more coarsely ground sugar that is mostly used on American tables today. However, the finer ground sugar can still be purchased for special recipes and use.
Homemakers in the early times in America were proud to have sugar to serve their families and guests so special silver spoons and containers were designed by silversmiths to hold the sugar and were given special attention.
This trio of sterling silver sugar castors were introduced around 1750 to hold the caster/castor sugar. The sugar being ground so finely, easily sifted out through the decorative holes in the top of the shaker. These are still being manufactured today for use in home. Antique ones, such as these, are very costly and highly collectible. They were, also, made in china or porcelain with sterling silver tops.
The two-handled vase style silverplate spoon holder (also known as “spoon goblet”) is uniquely American. Some were made to match silver tea services and were considered necessary to complete the service. Some were not produced to match tea services and sold individually.Most had pedestal bases and some were produced with 4 feet. The vase shape was popular during the 1850s and 60s. In antique shops you can still find examples of these and also some made in cut glass or pressed glass which I think were made later than 1860.
Then around 1870 the revolving spoon holder was designed and quickly became popular with the ladies. They could be purchased in the one tier variety or the two tier type. I think I prefer the two tier one. I must admit, however, that in all of my years of "antiquing" that I have never seen one of these.
Next came the sugar bowl with the spoon holders around the middle of the bowl. This type sugar bowl and spoon holder was very popular during the 1880's to 1910. I am very fortunate to have one of these that I found in an antique show one time while visiting in San Francisco.
Technically, the spoon holder is for teaspoons, but I have used my collection of sterling silver souvenir spoons, more the size of demi-tasse spoons.
Note the silver plated foot (with the silver worn away) and the filigree with the Great Heron in the design. We have a Great Blue Heron who lives in and around our back yard, so we are partial to Herons.
Note the art glass liner in the beautiful Robin's egg blue with the inverted thumbprint design. I love the fact that my little treasure has this added bonus of glass and yummy color!
I have never used my lovely sugar/spooner at the table for actual use, but rather, display it on a table in my living room. It is just an object from older times that is now a "pretty" to look at and definitely a conversation piece. In Victorian times, however, this would have been used on the table. I have read that Victorian ladies used only their best on their dining tables and liked to show their status in life via the china, crystal, and silver appointments set on their dining tables. It was the norm to have at least four or five different type of forks and knives in the place setting of sterling silver flatware. The following is a "must have" list for the proper Victorian dining table.
I have to laugh as we sometimes dine so casually in our home with just the two of us. If I were to pull out this Victorian sugar/spooner caster and expect Mr. B to use it, he would laugh at me!
Thanks for stopping by ! Your visits mean so much to me, and I treasure your comments. I wish I could offer you a cup of tea, but since that is not possible, may your week be a
Tea Party Everyday!!
Revolving spoon racks were introduced around 1870, a silver example shown here. Various spoon rack designs began to incorporate items such as vases, bells, & sugar bowls within the rack.
This silver plated sugar bow spoon holder was made between 1860 and 1899 by the Middleton Silver Company.