The spoon and fork are both set with European, probably German, gold mounts; the spoon, with a central section of white chalcedony, is 14.3cm, the fork 16.2cm.
Such items were usually not for use, but intended rather to be shared with discerning friends and fellow collectors, as objects of beauty and rarity.
Later they would be displayed in collectors’ cabinets.
They appear in the 1690 Devonshire Schedule, an inventory recording an immense bequest from Elizabeth, Countess of Devonshire (1619-1689), to her daughter Anne, Countess of Exeter (1649-1703).
Under the heading ‘Cornelians Coralls, Garnetts and other Stones’ appear: ‘A Cornelian Spoone and fforke sett in Gold, the Middle part of the spoon White.’