Serving Spoon

forged steel, with pierced ornament and gold damascening

49.5cm (length)

This spoon provides a fine example of the high quality steel work that was produced in Iran in the 19th century. That the shape has been copied from a wooden sherbet example is evident from the inclusion of features to strengthen the area between the bowl and the stem, necessary in a wooden utensil but not in one made of metal. The spoon is constructed from three pieces – an angular bowl and handle, the lower vertical flange, and the pierced plaque over the bowl. The two smaller parts are riveted to the main body. The arabesque decoration is bordered by gold damascened bands. The flange below the handle is decorated with two snakes reserved against a pierced background and outlined in gold. 

S. Vernoit, Occidentalism. Islamic Art in the 19th Century, The Nasser D. Khalili Collection of Islamic Art, volume XXIII, London 1997, cat.97, p.158–9.

J.M. Rogers, The Arts of Islam. Masterpieces from the Khalili Collection, London 2010, cat.348, p.293.