In our day it is hard to imagine that one would spend an extensive amount of time creating a spoon, but the artists of this style did precisely that. They literally hand hammered a spoon from a piece of raw silver in the old style and forced the metal to conform to their vision. These are one-of-a-kind pieces that were meant to uplift the soul and to last an entire lifetime. The shapes are often much plainer than those found in the Art Nuevo movement and in some cases are more simple than the later Art Deco movement which was inspired, in part, by these dedicated craftsmen. In some cases they deliberately left their hammer marks to show that the spoon was hand-hammered. (Note: some manufacturers quickly picked up on this style and developed automatic hammering machines.). There are subtle differences between the real arts and crafts hand hammered style and the machine produced look-alikes. It is possible to develop your "eye" to see these differences.

The "Arts and Crafts" movement was a reaction to the disappointment that many artists had with the nature of machine made goods. These artists believed that machine created products lacked quality and artistic merit and demeaned the soul. The "Arts and Crafts" practitioners elevated their concerns to a moral level and developed an extensive philosophy about the superiority of "hand made" goods. This philosophy is also known by other names such as Craftsmanship and extended beyond silver or spoons to comprise homes (Wright), Furniture (Stickley), Decorative items (Tiffany, Faberge) etc.

Most of the Arts and Crafts silver output is in the art deco style which is much plainer than the earlier art nuevo and various Victorian styles, but the A & C craftsmen also looked at historical styles for inspiration.

Matched set of very unusual Arts and Crafts spoons

These spoons are marked, but I have been unable to trace the maker.


Note the hammer marks on these distinctively made spoons by Shreve Silversmiths, San Francisco, which are made in the rare 14th century pattern. The finials  on each piece are purposely different.

                                             shreve 14th century pattern

Very Unusual Spoon and Fork Set

This very "strange" hand made sterling spoon and fork set is engraved on back as being from the "cheerio man", Walt V. Buster and dated 1989

One of the few American professional spoonmakers still actively practicing the Arts and Crafts style is Allan Adler of Los Angeles. Mr. Adler is very old now and produces only a few pieces for resale.

I have obtained this very cute  "snowman" Childs spoon and fork set by Allan Adler. (note: one reader believes that these are rabbits-- I can see what she is saying but they look like snowmen to me.)

Several other examples of Adler's work may be seen by clicking here

African Arts and Crafts

Very cute hand made copper spoon with a tobacco leaf handle. Arts and Crafts disciples often worked with materials other than silver. This spoon may have been designed as a "wine taster" as it has a small loop at the back where the leaf curls over. Another very similar piece has surfaced which indicates that it was "made in Rhodesia". So it is a rare African Arts and Crafts spoon


Click to see Arts and Crafts Jensen flatware

Click to see Modern Scandinavian silver flatware (part 1)

Click to see Modern Scandinavian silver flatware ( part 2)

Click to see Modern Scandinavian silver flatware (part 3)

Click to see unusual set of Modern scandinavian flatware (power thrust pattern)

Click to see some very unusual Arts and Crafts styled flatware

Click to see some conventional looking Arts and Crafts styled flatware

Click to see American arts and crafts spoons

click to see European arts and crafts spoons

Click to see Arts and Crafts in Gothic style

Click to see Arts and Crafts gemstone spoons

Click to see Arts and Crafts silver by Allan Adler

Two other artistic styles were also in vogue around the turn of the century and souvenir spoons and silver flatware was also made in these styles.

Click to see examples of ART NUEVO.

Click to see examples of ART DECO.


Return to Spoon World Index