Oval white porcelain medicine spoon with decorative handle, flat bottom and curved edges; spoon bowl and under oval edge with cobalt blue ink Delft blue floral pattern known as an onion pattern design; small opening at the tip and wider at the handle; small handle with a leaf decoration at its bott…
Oval white porcelain medicine spoon with decorative handle, flat bottom and curved edges; spoon bowl and under oval edge with cobalt blue ink Delft blue floral pattern known as an onion pattern design; small opening at the tip and wider at the handle; small handle with a leaf decoration at its bottom to provide stability so the spoon will stand; spoon cover, handle and top side edges are decorated with blue ink; perimeter, handle and leaf edges lined with gold strip; bottom in unglazed.
Number Of Parts
Collected by Maryanne Szuck and Alice Roeder.
Storage Room 0010
Unit Of Measure
2016: Handle repaired with glue in two spots, now discoloured, minor piece missing on handle by base where it was reattached
Allison, Eileen Michael. Ceramic Invalid Feeders, Pap Boats, and Baby Bottles of the 19th & Twentieth Century. Canada: E.M. Allison, 1997.
Bennion, Elisabeth. Antique Medical Instruments. London: Sotheby Parke Bernet Publications by Philip Wilsons Publications, 1979.
Campbell, Gordon. The Grove Encyclopedia of Decorative Arts. New York, NY: Oxford University Press, 2006. 2006. Accessed August 18, 2016. http://www.oxfordreference.com/view/10.1093/acref/9780195189483.001.0001/acref-9780195189483
Patelisova, Helena. "The Layers of a Blue Onion." 3NTA. April 25, 2015. Accessed August 19, 2016. http://www.3nta.com/the-layers-of-a-blue-onion/.
Collected by Maryanne Szuck and sister Alice Roeder, a retired nurse. The collection consists of various eras and types of invalid / infant feeders, infant milk bottles, medicine spoons, urinals and reference material.
By the early 19th century medicinal spoons were becoming more accurate measuring devices. Normally made out of silver, or pewter these items usually had a cover and long spout for blowing the medicine through at the opposite end for administering medicine to the mentally unstable, elderly and invalids. By the mid 19th century, the design had evolved into small oval spoons, with a partial cover. Initially produced in porcelain, these elaborately decorated spoons were then produced en masse in earthenware ceramic material and transfer pattern prints. This cheaper production cost meant this design was widely accessible and very popular for most social classes.
The design, like other medical ceramic ware, was decorated in the popular Blue Onion or Strawflower designs in cobalt ink. These designs were so popular on all types ceramic and porcelain ware, that manufacturers produced transfer pattern outlines to reduce production time.