We had a fascinating e-mail from Brian Russell. He has in his possession a silver spoon and a commissioned portrait that was presented to his grandmother (Florence Beatrice Peck) on being the first baby girl born in Grays on the day of Queen Victoria’s Diamond Jubilee. The painting (above) of his grandmother holding the spoon also seems to highlight a golden necklace bracelet and finger ring. Although not distinguishable in the photo the necklace is inscribed with the word “jubilee”. There was also a spoon presented to the first male.
On the back of the spoon is her name and birthdate but also that it was presented by A.W. Boatman, Grays. There was a Boatman Jeweller (who also sold clocks and watches) located at 70 and 72 Hugh Street, Grays. At one point his grandmother wrote to the Grays Gazette asking about the spoons. He has a letter from A.W. Boatman who saw the letter in the newspaper. At that time, Boatman couldn’t identify the boy baby who also received a spoon. The letter from Boatman goes on to mentions a plan for similar spoons to mark the coronation (of George VI).
(There was apparently a similar scheme that applied only to babies born in London. Spoons were given to 310 babies born on Jubilee day. However Brian’s grandmother would not have qualified for this.)
It would be extremely satisfying to learn more about these or any other similar schemes.