A rare American colonial spoon used to extract bone marrow is expected to be sold for a staggering £160,000 later this month.
The 20cm (8ins) long spoon, thought to be the most valuable of its type, dates back to between 1766-68.
The spoon often has a long thin bowl suitable for removing marrow from a bone.
The valuable silverware is from the period of George III and is attributed to the makers Daniel Henchman and Nathaniel Hurd of Boston, US.
It has the inscription at the top of the stem which reads ‘John Wentworth Esq To Thomas Smith’ suggesting it belonged to John Wentworth, who lived from 1737 to 1820.
He was Governor of New Hampshire from 1766 until the American War of Independence.
But he was eventually forced to leave for England in 1778 after he allowed tea to be stored in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, following the infamous Boston Tea Party.
The move, along with his decision to send militia to support Boston’s port being closed made, him deeply unpopular.
He later returned to Nova Scotia, in Canada, where he was governor from 1793 until he retired in 1808.
The spoon will be put up for sale at NEC’s Antiques for Everyone spring fair which runs from April 10 to 13.
West Midlands silver specialist Michael Baggott, who will be selling the spoon, said: “When put into its historical context this is a very important discovery in American Colonial silver.
“There is not much historical silver of this quality remaining from this period, and it is this provenance that gives it its value.
“Compared to the values of other important pieces from this period, it is not that expensive and as an example of Rococo silver its quality is as good, if not better, than any other piece I’ve seen.
“The outstretched hand issuing from a dolphin mask sleeve can leave little doubt that this was a sincere gift of friendship and respect from a new Governor to a much respected elder figure within the state.”
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