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23 September 2008


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Ummm..is it one of those little dooddads they baked into cakes? Isn't it king cake or something like that? My memory is fuzzy on the details.

Is it a small figure to be baked into the epiphany cakes?

Gosh, they are both gorgeous and I cannot think what they might be used for. At first I thought a lid holder, then a shutter holder but my guess that I am going with is a bed finial.

My creative answer (Well, that is if my first guess is correct)- My dear friend Marie-Noëlle who often comments here, told me about the French epiphany tradition and her daughter sent my daughter a small modern figurine one year. I fell in love with the tradition, and even adapted it into a carneval tradition in our family. Two of our kids have birthday close to the carnival season and we now bake muffins or other small "vannbakkels" (I don't know the French or the English name) In one we put a miniature carnival mask.

In my book about Lent and Lental traditions I have written about this tradition, both the old French one and the more modern creation in our family.

I have a link to where you can flip though the whole Lent-book online, but the link is too long for this comment.

Is it attached to a pin - to be a hat pin or a tie pin? I can't remember the exact era of men's fashions when they had billowy cravats and might have fixed them in place with one of these or a wide brimmed hat that would have been pinned to an elaborate wig so it didn't blow away..

... a cork screw?

...second guess...a wax stamp sealer thingie...?

Ok, First guess.... something you stick in a flower arrangement.

Guess 2, its like chopsticks that you wear in your hair, to make a bun.

Guess 3, a drink stirrer. (like the ones from McDonalds!) But nicer! : )

My guess is a hat pin.

I guess a drawer pull.

I guess a salt spoon.

I thought maybe a "cocktail fork" cause I have a few that are adorably decorated like this... but I noticed the threading so ...I am stumped.
But...I forwarded your site to my sister, the antiques apprasiser so... even if she doesn't guess.. I will have shared your wonderful site and we both win!

It is a finial that screws into something-- it appears to be into wood, but you haven't revealed the bottom of the screw. They are meant to be vertical so it's not curtain rods or the like. They are too well kept to have been used outdoors so they've not to do with gardening. They look a bit delicate for furniture unless it might be a clock or jardiniere. Perhaps ends for knitting needles or lace bobbins?

My first thought: They are hors d'oeuvres picks.

My second thought: Maybe I should just admit I don't have a clue.

The dream fairy puts one under your pillow in the middle of the night after a happy dream, to let you know that your dream will come true.

This is a toughy. They actually look exactly like the ends of some demitasse spoons I have Corey, but the screw is throwing me off!!

Perhaps they went with a coffee and tea set- perhaps you could screw on different toppers on the top of the coffee pot which matched the spoons. Yes that must be it!

My other guess is decorative finials for the tops of a wrought iron bed posts or the tops of iron garden gate.

I am throwing a guess out and I am pretty sure I'll be wrong, but... were they used as clock finials perhaps?
Whatever they were used for, they are beautiful!! I hope someone guesses correctly because I am dying to know what they are!

I'm thinking a tie pin, cause they remind me of some antique tie pins by dad has. :) Except if those are tie pins, they certainly look cooler than the plain jewel topped pins my dad has.

cork screw

Is it a swizzle stick?

You always come up with clever and funny guessing games Corey! :)

My husband thinks the pair would make great corn cob pick holders! Ok...we know that's not right but it's the best we could do...we aren't finished with our morning coffee yet!

It's a figurine that you screw on top of something to make it decorative...
On top of a cork for example...?

Hi Corey,
Could it be the key to a pocket watch or mantle clock? Fingers crossed ;)

I spy a screw thread.
Well that didn't do me any good as I still haven't the foggiest what it is.

Are they figures from a french chess set? I love the rampant lion...it got the brain thinking!!!

It's so easy........you even gave us a clue by saying Wizard of Oz. They are tiny flag pole toppers from Munchkin Land. The lion is simple but what looks like an angel is actually one of the flying monkeys, all cleaned up after the Wicked Which was killed. A little known fact is that the flying monkeys became an eco friendly form of transportation to the little people in Munchkin Land. And now you know the rest of the story.

She slowly slides out the hat pin, removing her hat to release the flowing locks secretly hiding beneath.

The top of a lamp, screwed into the harp or whatever it is called?

Okay, I'll guess that they are the handles for the tops of incense burners. They were screwed into the metal domed tops and used to open the incense burner?

Perhaps they screw into the end of a letter opener? (This is a tough one)

I think it is finials that screwed into the top of childrens beds.

Your so much fun!

My guess was a lamp finial, but tut-tut beat me to it. So I'll go with the totally impractical - a car hood ornament.


I think that they are lamp finials. They are both beautiful just as keepsakes.

I'll guess something to do with drapes..to tie them back or something! A decorative tie back. My 2nd guess...an earring..lol...oh ouch!

My guess is that they were owned by Marie Antoinette herself! They are her version of a cupcake pick!

One day Marie was planning one of her decadent parties where French pastries were sure to be present. Wanting to top her last soiree, she summoned the royal jeweler and instructed him to craft tiny characters of pure silver and to mount them on a little silver threaded stem. One would be place on the top of each elaborately decorated cupcake as a small token for each guest to take home.

Her party was a huge success, she plucked hers out of a deep swirl of pink frosting, laughingly licking the tip while exclaiming, "Let them eat cake!"

I know it is not really a cupcake pick but it is all I can think of so that is my story and I'm sticking to it!

In those days, dentistry was rather primitive and one was not opposed to sticking a metal toothpick in their teeth. Could that be?

I am going to guess that they are decorative toppers for walking canes.
I'm a Leo so I hope I'm correct.(Although the lamp finials sound good)

They are scepters for Antoine de Saint-Exupéry's "little prince"--one on which to tutor his flower and one to stir in his volcano :)

I was going to say they go on the top of a cork, but I see that has already been guessed. hmmmm... could it be that they go on the top of a fancy silver teakettle or coffee pot? (Actually one of those fancy French hot chocolate pots!!!!)

My guess is early Q-tips! Twist a bit of cotton or moss (or ?) on the screw portion and there you have the first Q-tip! A His and Hers pair or a Left ear and Right ear set!

HA! Coffee pot has been guessed already as well! lol

My creative guess... They are the caps to vials of perfume for wearing on a chatelaine! On the days that you feel like an angel, you would use the cherub cap on your perfume bottle. On the days you feel like a vixen, you'd wear the lion cap! And if your man has any clue as to what the caps mean, he'd know what he would be in for that evening! lol shhhhhh

This is a tough one Corey.....hair pins, perhaps?

- Suzanne, the Farmer's Wife

A salt cellar spoon. You use it to get salt out of say...the shell salt holder in one of your previous photos. When on vacation with my parents in Scotland as a teenager, I bought one just like the cherub one. It has a gold fleur de lis in the bowl.

My first thought was that they are lamp finials, but I see that's already been mentioned.

Maybe they are music box dancers!

Or fancy finials that go on door hinges?

I guess some kind of finial!! It looks like it would screw into something else.
PS, whatever it is, it's pretty!

Some sort of toothpick or toothpick holder?


Bottle stopper?

Sweet, Corey. So lovely to see your new finds here again.

Obviously it is some sort of decorative screw. Lots of ideas above but I would guess they are decorative elements that screw into the tops of an old globes of the world.

Decoration attached to table ware such as a fork-n-knife.

They were sewn into royal children's clothing so if a child of royal blood was ever kidnapped the child would pull them out of the lining of their frocks and toss them on the ground (like bread crumbs). The silver gilt helped them to shine in the moonlight making it easier for the royal guards to follow the trail and safely rescue the child.

My guess is that these regal figurines were used to adorn the top of urns...as in the dearly departed's final resting place either on someone's mantle or in a niche somewhere.

My guess is a hat pin. You know to decorate the hat they are wearing. I have no clue! Your guessing games are always hard and I never get the right answer!


This has intrigued me all day long. Now I thought maybe a top of a child's rattle but there were no rattly bits, so I think it was a finial on top of a sceptre.

Now Corey , this is a difficult and exciting one ! What a beautiful find .

First category guess : could it be that it was used on top of umbrellas to adorn them ?

Second category guess : they are real fairy tale people . When someone finds one it is good luck . Two , is awesome lucky ! Then , the legend goes that if you put it in your hand , blow your breath gently to heat the silver , you will see something happening : the little creature starts glistening and suddenly a small drift of pixie dust fills the air around you and all you have to do is say : "I believe in you !" and quickly make a wish . Then you have to find a place to gently keep your little creature on , like a piece of wood or a flower vase .Don't forget to touch it once in a while , to keep the magic alive (that's where the worn off silver is from !).

Now I can't wait to know the right answer !

They are toothpicks :)

Ummm,OHHHH, hmmmm, well, ummmm, I want to guess right but on first blink i say...hat pin. King Louis and a hat pin? possibly, possibly. I truly have no idea but I will stick with a hat pin.

Do you know the cheese royal blue/roi bleu?

I think these figures are to stick on top of the cheese to give you a good grip when you cut pieces for a royal cheese night.

Hi Corey, that was a fine piece of work yesterday ! My guess is KNIFE RESTS ? Peace, Jx

Hi Corey ,
maybe it´s an antique "snuff-spoon" 0:)

A finial, one of those things screws into something like a lamp or something.

skewer to hold corn on the cob?

It's the ornamental top that delicately screws into a glass vial holding laudenum.

I imagine they probably are picks to poke into food for easy eating, but others have probably said that and I earlier said a finial which I see another also said.
I can't see the bottom and maybe it has a scoop, like a salt spoon.
Well, here's a silly one. How about an ear pick and when they aren't picking their ear wax out or scratching in their ear, they are using it to poke into a candle to light their way while walking.
Maybe even a swizzle stick, but it may break a sweet crystal glass.
Maybe they hold their cape closed with it...

If I may have a second quess...It could be a knob from the lid of "incensory-kettle" , because they didn`t have "odour-control-sprays" in those days ...

My first thoughts are:
1. Cuff links
2. A tie pin

Hello Corey! I have been enjoying your blog for quite some time, and though I have often thought of commenting on some of your beautiful and touching posts, this is the first time I'm actually doing it!

I have in my hand a small spoon with the identical cherub, but much smaller. (Is that a fish in its arms? Mine is too small to tell that detail!) I also have a fleur-de-lis, a couple of male figures, a classic harlequin clown figure, and a motif of shield, helmet, and swords. These little spoons have always intrigued me. They were bought by my grandmother, who loved collecting beautiful things. ( Incidentally, mine are stamped "Italy" on the underside.)

Maybe yours are antique toothpicks?

Do you use them to make a wish -- or maybe they're some kind of house blessing.

They are scepters for fairy queens and kings! I know they are... :)

they are perfume bottle lids...?

Are they game markers? Sort of like cribbage pins?

A lamp finial?

Those lovely antique pieces where not exactly meant to be for a king, but rather for its queen.... they are hair pins; lovely, antiques hair pins made out of metal and old gold, just “en suite” for a queen... :)

You have a fantastic blog, and I love to read you.


for snuff or as Grandpa would say, snoose.

Perhaps they are finials for some sort of sewing,knitting, rug hooking implement, candle snuffer, or even a letter stamp.

You do find the most wonderful items at the brocantes! Thank you for thinking of us.

I was gonna come back and say hair pin or hat pin, but someone beat me to it.

Hi Corey, this is such fun and you are so generous.
My guess is a spoon.
More importantly though is the joy you share makes us all winners, thank you.

A tie tack?
A cravat pin?
A drink stirrer?
An hors d'oeuvre server?

Whatever they are, they're beautiful.


A watch winding stem?

Ok this is my fourth guess! LOL

Fondue Forks!

: )

I love fondue!

Are they corkscrews to open wine bottles? can't wait to find out what they really are! You are such a bright spot in my day, Corey, always a new post and so much fun to read!

Or is is a decorative screw to hold a door in its hing?

You can tell by the threading on the bottom that they were screwed into something. I think that they were drawer/cabinet pulls. Ellen

Oh my! But they are divine! I am going to guess that they are lapel pins!! Love your blog!! I live for it every single DAY!!

their for lamps to screw on the shades

could they be salt spoons? Frankly, what is a fabulous meal sans sel.

They are sealing wax stamps.

They look like stoppers for a bottle.

ok, here goes...
My guesses are that they were used as scepter toppers or that they were used as decorative figures on top of crowns.

Whatever they are, they're something that topped something, and were handled a lot....
I'm stumped but I think Nancy deserves to win most creative/funniest answer!

I didn't read through the responses so I don't know if anyone has guessed that it's a toothpick.


Dear Corey,

is it the top pieces of serving cutlery?
But similar guesses have already been made.
As the pieces don't look too convenient to handle (although worn), maybe they're the top pieces of parasols (not the handles, but the other side)?
Oh my, what can it be? Tell us, quick! ;-)


I think a wine stopper.

I come often, but seldom let a comment, now I am ashamed to come just to participate to your latest game, but not so much as I would say:
Des épingles à chapeau.

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