Finds of the Week #34: What the Heck are They?

I often thrift things that I know absolutely nothing about. Some I love, some are interesting, and some are just downright strange…. and sometimes I find things that are all three.

I didn’t do any thrifting this past week because I’ve been too busy happily wreaking havoc on the contents of my craft room so I can put all the keepers back like nice neat little puzzle pieces… hopefully. lol.

I love deconstruction almost as much as I love reconstruction.

But I did find a couple of interesting things in my stashes that I forgot about, and I’m hoping you guys will share whatever thoughts or info you might have on these since my research hasn’t been much help.

pewter spoons 1

This set of pewter spoons was a definite love at first sight with my immediate thought being they’d look pretty cool hanging as wind chimes if I found the right upper piece to pair them with.

But then when I got home I took a closer look.


pewter spoons 2

And they’re definitely interesting… and strange too.

I’m not 100% sure but it looks like the guy in the chair is having a tooth pulled. The guy behind him appears to be holding his mouth open with one hand and has some kind of instrument in his other hand.

Yikes! Looks pretty painful to me.


pewter spoons 4

Considering the front of the spoon may depict an unpleasant dental scene I think it’s rather fitting that the emblem or logo on the back is an angel.

If I was the guy in the chair I’d certainly want an angel watching over me.


pewter spoons 3

These pewter spoons are pretty ornate and have an old look to them, but I’m not sure if they’re just vintage or actually antique. If they’re not antique I’ll be OK with using them in a wind chime.

I found this set for $5 at the local flea market. They were marked down from $15

My googling hasn’t turned up anything… so what the heck are they?


Asian set 1
My next find is this boxed set of masked characters, which definitely fits the interesting and strange categories, but I can’t say that I love it. It just intrigues me.

This set was 50 cents at my local thrift store. Clearly they didn’t think much of it, and for that price I had to bring it home.

I thought it had to be worth more than 50 cents… right? Well… not necessarily. They’ll either be sold or taken back to the thrift store… depending on what I find out.


Asian set 2

These strange little guys are adhered to the felt somehow… or its just age that keeps them hanging on. They don’t come off when I hold the box upside down.

I’m wondering if you’re supposed to pull them off, but I can’t imagine what they would even be used for? Can you?


Asian set 3

Some are similar but different at the same time, and the tallest ones measure about an inch and a half high.

The ball thingies on some of their heads are wired and can be repositioned.


Asian set 4

The box still has an original label, but what does it say?

I have absolutely no clue.


Asian set 5

Would you have brought this set home for 50 cents? I wouldn’t be the least bit surprised if you say no… but I was so curious that I had to.

Like I’ve never said that before. lol. I think I might resemble that sarcasm.

Structurally the box is in great shape, but it shows some age so I’m thinking this set is definitely vintage but… what the heck is it?

Thanks so much for reading and until next time… keep on keepin’ on.


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  1. I definitely would have brought them home. I think they are very interesting and I would love to know what that says.

  2. Don’t take them back…I really like the oriental things…My son is into that stuff, I will ask him if he knows how to translate…and the spoons, those are really unique..maybe they are advertising spoons …very interesting….

    1. Thanks Vera! That would be awesome. I’d really like to know what the box says.

  3. I think they’re what are called Apostle spoons. A similar set is gifted in the British miniseries The Jewel In The Crown by Barbara Bachelor to Susan as a wedding gift.

    1. Wow! I saw that series years ago. Now I think I’ll google Apostle spoons. Thanks for giving me a starting point Kristy.

      1. The spoon is called The Dentist, by Jan Steen, Dutch. Prices that I have found range from $15.00 to several hundred

        1. Thanks so much for that info Rosella! That’s quite the range in value. It must depend on when they were made. I do think mine are vintage, but not antique.

  4. CINNY KOLESAR says:


    1. Thanks Cinny! Sometimes I can’t resist the strange stuff.

  5. I hope someone recognizes these items! Those spoons!!! How cool are those. I think could sell all of these but who knows what to price them… Great finds Tuula!

    1. Thanks Sherry! Yes, that’s my problem. Sometimes it’s hard to know if you’ve found a treasure or just something really cool.

  6. Cheryl in Wisconsin says:

    You hit the Funky Motherlode. Please let us know if you find out what the translation on the box is.

    1. I will Cheryl. Hopefully I can find someone who speaks Japanese.

  7. doneva fellows says:

    i’m sure there is someone out there who knows something about these items. would i have bought them? probably not but that sure doesn’t mean they aren’t interesting. please let all of us know if you do find out what they are.

    1. Thanks Doneva! Mystery items have always interested me. I certainly will post here if I find out some info.

  8. I’m terrified of the dentist and I feel sorry for the guy whatever it is he’s enduring. LOL Cool spoons, whatever they are! Are the mysterious masked men finger puppets?
    xoxo, T.

    1. Me too. I just lost a whole tooth on a caramel and had to have it repaired with plugs and pins. Ugh! It was not pleasant. But at least I had some freezing unlike this poor guy. Hopefully he got a stiff drink first. lol. I can’t imagine you could actually use these spoons. Thanks for the suggestion, but the little masked guys are solid and there’s no place for fingers to go.

  9. I was also thinking the ten figures might be finger puppets, perhaps from New Orleans? Is the box large enough for carved chopsticks? I have seen them in similar types of boxes. Whatever they are they are quite interesting!

    1. Thanks Joan! They do kinda have a New Orleans vibe to them, but they are solid and there’s nowhere for fingers to go. The box is about 10″ long.

    1. Thanks so much for the links Fonda. I’ll be sure to check them out.

      1. Jo Fraser says:

        Thank you to Fonda also

        Tuula – I found your link here because I am trying to identify a spoon that I got from a rummage sale last year. The spoon is different, but the Angel Mark is the same. I’ve found comps with the same spoon, but the Angel Mark is an Angel with a Trumpet, none with the Angel having her arms stretched out.. like yours. I was beginning to think mine was some sort of reproduction or something. Glad to know its legit. Thank you.

  10. distresseddonna says:

    You know I am the Queen of Oddities, but I have not seen the Oriental figures. I have seen similar spoons and have also heard them called Apostle spoons.

    1. Thanks Oddity Queen! lol. I’ll have to do some more googling.

  11. Bonnie Schulte says:

    Your purchases are so unique. I love that kind of stuff, and I too, would have bought them, for sure at the great price you paid. Fun just to look at and talk about…

    1. Thanks Bonnie! When something is cheap and interesting I just can’t resist.

    1. Thanks so much for that info Pam! I’ll be sure to check it out.

  12. I am completely stumped too but considering that both items look like they are from other countries, who knows what whoever made them was thinking!! I think the Chinese masks were for some cultural thing there that we may never know, or never want to know!! I hope you find out!

    1. Thanks AnnMarie! I love finding things that are a little bit out there, especially if they’re cheap. The only problem is if you can’t find out anything how do you price them for selling?

  13. I’m sure that those pewter spoons are German Reinzinn spoons. They’re very nice. I love them! I don’t know anything about the Asian box with figures. That’s pretty cool too. Great finds.

    1. I wouldn’t drill any holes in those spoons. German pewter is collectible. You could sell them, I’m sure.

      1. Thanks Sheila! I’m beginning to think I won’t drill into them. It turns out they don’t sound as good as silverware when they clang together so probably not going to use them in a wind chime after all. I may sell them after I do more research.

    2. Thanks for the info Sheila! I’ll have to google that.

  14. I have a set of the spoons, but they have a dancing seen on them. I got them at an antique mall. They are vintage souvineer spoons from somewhere in Europe, like Sweden or the like…I can’t remember.: ) I believe that they are from the 50’s. Mine have the same “maker’s mark” on them, that was were I started with my search. They don’t have much value, but I never buy anything for the money…I just like fun stuff! I hope this helps!

    1. Thanks Becky! I’ll do some googling on the mark and see what I can find out. Even if they don’t have much value they are pretty cool. A dancing scene would be quite lovely.