A gold and jewel set agate spoon, South German or English, circa 1580.

The bowl and stem of this beautiful spoon form an S-curve; the mount of champlevé enamel with stylised leaves in blue and green on a black ground, set with rubies and pearls, 12.7cm long.

The spoon came to Burghley as part of an immense bequest from Elizabeth, Countess of Devonshire (1619-1689), to her daughter Anne, Countess of Exeter (1649-1703).

The bequest was recorded in an inventory known as the 1690 Devonshire Schedule, or Deed of Gift, which lists under ‘Agats and other Stones’: ‘An Agate spoone the handle sett in Gold with Rubies and pearles.’


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