Gone, too, were Tiffany's 1960s-chic Bamboo flatware, its scalloped Wave Edge pattern designed in 1884, and its elaborate Olympian, whose every piece depicted a different scene from Greek mythology. And with them vanished many of the more obscure pieces, like the five o'clock teaspoon.
So, I was surprised and thrilled (thrilled!) this weekend to see that Tiffany is again offering an "afternoon teaspoon" in several of its remaining silver patterns. We Americans now get our caffeine fixes in 16, 20, and (shudder) 30-ounce paper
Generally speaking, a teaspoon is 6 inches long, give or take a quarter of an inch. A five o'clock teaspoon is typically between 5 1/4 and 5 1/2 inches. This may not seem like much of a difference until you see the two together. For illustration, below are three Tiffany spoons: an 6 1/8-inch Olympian teaspoon, a 5 3/8-inch Faneuil five o'clock teaspoon, and a 4-inch Chrysanthemum demitasse spoon.
Here, the Olympian and Faneuil spoons are shown with a Belleek teacup produced between 1891 and 1926. You can see that the Olympian looks much too big.
Now, if only Tiffany would bring back the berry spoon...
EDITED ON MONDAY, DEC. 12, 2012:
It seems I spoke too soon. Tiffany has broken my heart once again. Yesterday, I emailed the good people at the customer service department to find out the exact sizes of the Faneuil spoons listed as "afternoon teaspoon" and "coffee spoon" on their website. The response was prompt, but disappointing. Sadly, the afternoon teaspoon is a mere 4 1/2 inches long. The coffee spoon is a teensy 4 inches.
What this tells me is that Tiffany is passing off an after-dinner coffee spoon as five o'clock teaspoon, and a demitasse spoon as a coffee spoon. So much for buying shiny new five o'clock teaspoons in happy blue boxes! Looks like I'll still be trawling eBay. \sigh