When you next visit World Museum, make sure you don’t miss the ‘Mayer Spoon’, a very special object from Antiquities' Celtic collection
, now on display in the Weston Discovery Centre
The spoon was once owned by Joseph Mayer, an avid collector, who gave his collection to Liverpool Museum (now World Museum) in 1867.
The spoon, which is about two thousand years old, is 11 cm long, so too large for eating or serving food. The museum’s records tell us that the spoon was found in a turbary, which means an area of bog or peatland, in Ireland. Archaeologists have found a variety of Celtic objects, including large spoons, in bogs and wetlands, presumably deposited as a sacrifice, and it is likely that the Mayer Spoon was also placed in the turbary as part of a religious ritual or ceremony.
Spoons similar to the Mayer Spoon are usually found in pairs, with one spoon pierced with a small hole and the other marked with a cross, like the Mayer Spoon. Perhaps the hole was used to drip a liquid through one spoon into the other, either to feed the gods or even to see into the future. So, there are two mysteries: what was the Mayer Spoon used for and will future archaeologists ever find the pair to the Mayer Spoon?