Antique Belgian/German Silver Maitrank Wine Ladle with Turned Handle c1850 (Code 2072)
A most unusual 19th century wine accessory. It consists of a ladle in silver with a multi-part turned handle. The ladle has a cover flap which is pierced to allow it to be used as a strainer. The piercing includes the words Maitrank (translates as May wine), this drink being a Spring speciality of Arlon and some German regions. This wine based drink is infused with herbs and often mixed with fruit in the form of a punch, it is perhaps the Spring equivalent of mulled wine.
Given the drink it is likely this item is either Belgian or German, there is an impressed '12' mark in the early style which was used on German assayed silver pre 1886 and a further impressed 'W'. The mark suggests the silver is .750 standard, and in testing it actually seems a bit higher than this. It is likely mid 19th century in period, and given the significant amount of silver used for the ladle it would have been an expensive luxury item at the time.
The ladle has a spiral beehive style bowl and the handle connection has reeded detail. The flap is quite firm so would allow items to be placed inside the scoop to infuse the wine while decanting along with being a strainer. The interior of the ladle is gilded for resisting tarnish during use. The handle is of sectional form with turned detail and silver ferrules for connecting the sections including a broad flat terminal for easier handling. It was of course made for use with the handle being long enough for use with a large punch style bowl. A really unusual wine accessory they type of which we have never seen before in our 20 years of experience, and perhaps a one off chance to acquire such a piece for your collection.
Generally very good for period, hinge on flap still tight and no significant faults to the silver ladle. Minor age related wear and a small indent to the pouring lip. Some wear, normal aging and splits in the handle, and the handle has likely been re-fixed at some point (this being usual as glue ages and fails over time). The upper most ferrule has some knocks and is a little misshapen.
Length: 39.5 cm ( 15 1/2 inch) total handle length
Length: 12.7 cm ( 5 inch) ladle bowl length
Weight: 184 grams (before packing).
Stock Code: 2072 MR20-1
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