My friend, Scott, sent me this old spoon to check out. An antique dealer in Pittsburgh told him that he comes across a lot of these spoons in the area. He knew nothing beyond that. Could it be a form common to a particular region or even family? I also have some questions about the possible technique used in making it. I thought I’d display some photos here to see if anyone has any suggestions or knowledge to share.
I guess the thing that has Scott and I scratching our heads the most is the handle. The upper surface seems to indicate that it was made from straight-grained wood, but the underside has the appearance of figured wood. Could the handle have been bent over a hot pipe, resulting in the compressed and scorched look of the underside?
Scott also pointed out that the arrangement of stopped chamfers on the handle may have facilitated strapping the spoon under a belt.
I don’t know what the wood species is, but the dark streaks are raised and the lighter areas are low.
The one side of the bowl is pretty rotten. Maybe it sat in water or on the ground for a long time. I’ll just pop a few more photos below. If you have any thoughts about this spoon, I’d love to hear them.