Showing posts from December, 2017

Flowery spoons and old sealing wax

This small group of three spoons (from the top, 955.1.66, 955.1.65, 955.1.58 all Musée de Bretagne, Rennes)   all from the Vannetais region of Brittany and were made sometime in the late 19th century. They display the most incredible level of craftsmanship, both in the basic form of the spoons and then in their delicate, pierced decoration. They are also unusual for two reasons. Firstly they have an essentially asymmetric motif which is very unusual within the Breton tradition. In addition they have colour on them. These are the only spoons from this area that have any decoration in colour. It is not, however, a coloured wax inlay as in the spoons from Cornouaille, but a painted motif. Sadly there are no dates for these spoons, but the top two are documented as having been made in Carnac, on the south coast of Brittany between Vannes and Lorient, at the very heart of the Vannetais area of decorated spoon making. It can only be speculation that these are made by the same

a family of spoons

There is, in two museums and private hands, a group of four old Breton spoons. The group consists of two near-identical spoons (Morlaix 2000-12-1-16 and MuCEM 1883-3-10, pictured below) plus one other similar spoon that was sold a year ago to a private collector. In addition, there are pictures of two spoons… one in the book by Leroy & Méheut, “Vieux métiers Bretons” (1992 - this is probably the same as the one that was sold privately), and the other is in a picture called “trois cuillères bretonnes” in the MuCEM museum in Marseilles. It is probable that they were all made by the same person... These spoons are in the Cornouaille-style, made around the area of Quimper in S.W. Finistère, and are exquisite in their shape and decoration. All have heart shaped bowls, all have one or more hearts as piercings or cartouches plus a very distinctive up-tipped and scalloped end to the handle. This  first picture is one of the spoons which is in the Museum at Morlaix, in NW Brittan