Artwork of the Week: November 6

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Greek, from Asia Minor (modern Turkey), Set of Twelve Cochlearia (Snail Spoons). Silver, raised, cast and soldered, about 150–100 BCE. 4 1/8 to 4 1/14 in. long, ½ in. diameter. Purchased with funds from the Libbey Endowment, Gift of Edward Drummond Libbey, 1984.68a–l. Classic Court.

Greek, from Asia Minor (modern Turkey), Set of Twelve Cochlearia (Snail Spoons). Silver, raised, cast and soldered, about 150–100 BCE. 4 1/8 to 4 1/14 in. long, ½ in. diameter. Purchased with funds from the Libbey Endowment, Gift of Edward Drummond Libbey, 1984.68a–l. Classic Court.

The ancient Greeks and Romans used this type of small, slender-handled spoon, called a cochlear, for eating snails, shellfish, and eggs. These are the smallest and earliest snail spoons known in Greek or Roman silver tableware. Less luxurious examples of the same shape have been found in bone. However, ancient Greeks and Romans typically used minimal tableware, instead eating with their fingers.


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