Antique French Napoleonic Silver Spoon Necklace

This spoon has been floating around Louisiana for a very long time. We bought it from an old man with a produce stand on the side, of a side road somewhere in the Atchafalaya Basin between Lafayette and Baton Rouge. The honey he sold was so rich and amber-colored that we could taste the sweet-spicy scent of Rose Mallow and not so sweet Lizard’s Tail every time we opened the jar. The old Cajun man we bought it from said it was his fancy grandmother’s, but he had no children or grandchildren and saw no reason why he should not sell the suggie cuillère (sugar spoon). He told us that mémère Fancy used it to scoop sugar lumps into her coffee. She wore it on a necklace all her life then gave it to him when he left home for the first time. He wore it casually, on a leather thong around his wrist. He seemed surprised that we were so interested in the spoon and its story; even more surprised when Charles said he wanted to buy it. The old man flipped the spoon into his arthritic hand, untied the thong with his teeth, and agreed to sell it.

The Napoleonic wars took place at the turn of the 19th century, across the pond, but some French citizens emigrated to America during that time and settled in New Orleans. Napoleon experienced huge swings in popularity; no American president has ever suffered so much or been so loved. Napoleon died in 1821 on Saint Helena Island as an exile (for the second time). If this spoon was crafted during his second period of popularity, historically known as the 100 Days, then it is at least 169 years old.

There are no maker’s marks on the back of the spoon
and some of the details have blurred with time. The
spoon is 6cm long from tip to tip and 17mm across the bowl.

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