LADLES

Ladles may be regarded as a special form of spoon shaped in accord with the purpose for which they were intended. Soup originally taken from a bowl and drank was ladled out of the pot or large tureen with ladles of iron, brass and metal. Silver ladles would be used when the tureen was introduced on the table. The handles of ladles in later times corresponded with those of the spoons in form and ornament. The ladle around which the greatest interest centres is that of many varied forms used so extensively in the eighteenth century for punch. The popularity of the drink cannot be gainsayed. The liquor originally of five ingredients-spirit, water, sugar, lemon, and spice-gave occasion to the following rhyme :

" Whene'er a bowl of punch we make, Four striking opposites we take The strong, the weak, the sour, the sweet, Together mixed most kindly meet : And when they happily unite, The bowl is pregnant with delight." Punch ladles have not always been made of silver, wood mounted with silver being met with, the handles being of silver, horn and other materials-it was a common practice to fasten a guinea or a silver coin " for luck " in the bowl of the ladle, some are like small sauce boats and others are deep and circular like an old fashioned iron pot. Sauce ladles have been commonly used since the days of Queen Anne and are met with bearing hall-marks of all the different periods since that period. A variety are the small ladles used for toddy and other purposes.