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Mystery Monday: spooning

Today’s mystery concerns this carving in Sterling Memorial Library’s International Room: what Yale tradition is depicted here? And what’s with the spoons?

Filed under Mystery Monday, Sterling Memorial Library


  • George Huthsteiner '74 TD
    George Huthsteiner '74 TD, 8:58pm November 14 2020 | Ico flag Flag as inappropriate

    This room in Sterling was in 1930 reserved for Yale College memorabilia. The display cabinets were carved to memorialize past and present Yale traditions. I believe this scene shows one of the earliest annual Junior Promenade winter balls, perhaps from the 1850's. The spoon has a long twisted history. It eventually came to be a prize given to either the most socially popular member of the Junior class or (later) to the student in charge of producing the Prom itself. Charles W. Bingham, class of 1868, namesake of Bingham Hall, was so honored. The architect Walter B. Chambers in 1928 included a stone carving of the spoon and the date above the entryway into Bingham's north wing.

  • Mark Branch
    Mark Branch, 8:32am November 16 2020 | Ico flag Flag as inappropriate

    Exactly right!

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