Spoons have accompanied the history of humanity. They reconcile the primary need to eat with the need to establish relations with others. They vital meaning becomes clear when collector Jean Metzger tells about his life long passion for spoons, which started with a spoon found by his father in a concentration camp, in 1940. Spoons were not supplied in these camps: they were fabricated clandestinely, and traded for loafs of bread amongst prisoners.*
In Brittany, the custom was to lower a wooden spoon carrousel at dinner time. Once the meal finished, the spoons were cleaned ‘sur le coude’ (on the elbow), and put back in the carrousel, which was lifted again.
*source & spoon image credits: Libération
Histoire(s) de Cuillères, Bibliothèque Forney (Paris 4e) – 9 septembre 2014 – 3 janvier 2015. Modest and festive scenography by Emmanuelle Sachet