The Benson Collection of Early Silver Spoons

This book is written to accompany the Benson Collection of forty-five spoons and one fork on display at the Ashmolean Museum at Oxford.

Included is a synopsis of the life of Mrs How (nee Benson), with a number of anecdotes from people who knew her, giving a flavour of her kindness and character as a person, collector and dealer. There is also a history of ‘the firm’, as the business was affectionately referred to when it started in a flat five stories up at the top of the Scotsman building in Edinburgh, through to the firm’s final official home in Albemarle Street in London.

The spoons have been catalogued in chronological order so the reader can follow the form the spoons took, starting with a Roman example; each spoon has been photographed and presented in the book almost full size, and often hallmarks and finials are shown magnified so the reader can use the photographs to study the detail and cross-reference the different features.

Each spoon has a full description and, where applicable, the text Mrs How wrote about her spoons has been updated to reflect subsequent knowledge. Where known, provenance and further cross-reference to wills, spoons, publications and sales have been recorded.

+ Size 300 x 245 mm + 144 pages + Over 250 colour illustrations + Hardback +