Joseph Whitmore caddy or sieve?

It’s 4.4cm in length and weighs 13 grams. Clearly marked for Joseph Willmore, Birmingham 1821 and sort of works as a sugar sieve with very fine castor. But it’s more the size of a tea caddy.

One theory is it is a caddy spoon that you can pour the tea through like a strainer.

Another theory, since it appears to be bandbox new, is nobody else in the past 200 years has been able to figure it out and it remains a beta-type spoon Willmore never put into production and nobody ever used except as a gift which is how I got it.

Also why the strange sidewards rectangle shape? It’s not really convenient as a shovel or a sieve and you’d need a pretty steady hand to get hot tea in and through it.


Hello, I think maybe the designer might just have a particular style of spoon that he tried to launch and as for the holes, I think it was a trend at some points in history. Look at this fork for example, it has holes and the objective is just aesthetic, with no practical usefulness. Tiffany also launched an ice cream spoon (I think it’s more like a tong) with holes.

You may well be right. Pierced or fretted small early Victorian ladles with longer handles than would conveniently sit in a tea caddy container are not infrequently on the market. But they invariably feature rounded bowls and the fret work is decorative and probably not functional. If functional it might well be a sugar shaker or castor ladle for powdered sugar. This item seems too small for that purpose and has this rectangular shape. What we need is a Whitmore catalogue featuring the spoon or somebody’s invoice from him.

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