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GEORGE II/III Sterling Silver Shellback Mote Spoon. London circa 1760.

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Very fine GEORGE II/III sterling silver shellback mote spoon with a well defined barb at the end of the stem.
London circa 1760.

The makers mark H.B. is stamped on the back of the stem and the very attractive shell on the reverse of the bowl is engraved in high rococo design.
Tea, in the 18th Century was quite unrefined and so the tea leaves were much larger than they are today. The bowl of the mote spoon was used to skim the tea leaves off the surface of the tea cup and the long stem ending in a barb was used to unclog the straight teapot spout.
It is said that this is why these spoons are called mote as an allusion to the quote in the bible.
Thou hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brothers eye.

Length: 5.7 inches (14.48cm)
Weight: 0.31 troy ounces (9.64 grams)
c 1760
Sterling Silver