Roy Noble and Don Balkwill discuss a Victorian marrow spoon on Don’s second visit to the Roy Noble radio show on BBC Radio Wales on Sunday 15th May.
Roy Noble was not impressed because he had had a bad experience with bone marrow on a visit to America.
These spoons were used for scooping out, and eating, the cooked marrow from bones, usually beef leg bones because beef bones can be up to 3 inches in diameter. In Victorian times marrow bones were cooked and served in starched napkins with long silver spoons like these, to scoop out the marrow jelly. This delicacy was popular at British high society dinner parties at the turn of the 19th century. Although these spoons were developed and in use from the early 1700s from the shape and style of the one in the picture this one dates from the mid-1800s.which is the time when electro-plated nickel silver cutlery was developed and became popular.
Marrow spoons (sometimes called a scoop), were usually made of silver or as this one is, sometimes electro-plated nickel silver.
It is a concave silver plated metal bar in the shape of a narrow trough, one end of which is wider than the other Although popular from the 1700s right up to the end of the 1800s they very quickly declined in use because the marrow jelly fell out of favour, although there has been a resurgence in its popularity of late. This one is 7 ½ inches (19 cm) long and about ½ inch (1cm) at its widest
Electro Plated Nickel Silver or as it’s usually abbreviated, EPNS, is the process whereby nickel silver (sometimes stainless steel) is the base metal onto which silver is plated. Despite its name, nickel silver contains no silver at all but is an alloy of nickel, zinc & copper. A layer of pure silver is deposited electrolytically on the base metal to give a silver finish.
You can hear a Podcast of the show HERE. Don is on from the middle of the broadcast