Art/ Collection/ Art Object

Child's porridge spoon

Roberts and Belk
British, Sheffield
Length: 5 5/8 in. (14.3 cm)
Credit Line:
Purchase, Gift of Mrs. Donald Gill, by exchange, 1991
Accession Number:
Not on view
The pieces (see also 1991.296.1) are marked with a Roman lamp in outline, the mark used by a firm of manufacturing goldsmiths in Sheffield, Roberts and Belk, for handmade products from their art studio.

The design is influenced by Art Nouveau, featuring a languid curvaceousness of the ornament and a naive quality with its repeating flowers between single unattached hearts. This shows a strong admixture of the Arts and Crafts movement. The bowl is inscribed "From Her Majesty Queen Alexandra to Mrs. M. F. Ronalds 1907," probably a christening or Christmas present from the queen to Mrs. Ronald for her daughter Thora. The spoon is engraved in the bowl, "From Queen Alexandra."
Inscription: Engraved on bowl: From Queen Alexandra

Marking: [1] R + B (maker's mark for Roberts and Belk);
[2] Crown (Sheffield town mark);
[3] Lion passant (English quality mark for sterling);
[4] gothic e (date letter).

Location of marks:
[[1]-[4] on underside of spoon handle.
Queen Alexandra (to Mrs. Ronalds) ; Mrs. Matilda Ronalds (from 1907; to her daughter) ; by descent, Thora Ronalds McElroy (until d. 1990) ; Estate of Thora Ronalds McElroy (until 1991; sale, Sotheby's, New York, April 19, 1991, lot 86) ; [ Alexander Yale Goriansky , Boston, 1991; sold to MMA ]
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