The souvenir spoon era followed the era of high quality aesthetic silver. But machinery and the organization of the silver factories had changed enough in the preceding twenty years, that the factories could now produce high quality unusual silver at greatly reduced prices. It would only be expected that the great silver factories would produce spoons using the same types of artistic license.
One of the major themes in aesthetic silver was the emphasis on natural forms including those of sea creatures. These spoons also happen to appeal to me, so I can show you several examples.
Catalina Island (California) clam shaped shell bowl with a fishing pole handle
Tacoma, Washington clam shaped bowl with a fishing pole handle and wire wrapping
Galveston, Texas shell shaped bowl with a seaweed handle and shell finial
Hawaii leaf shaped bowl with an outrigger canoe finial
Columbian World Fair spoon featuring Columbus and an aesthetic shaped bowl
Deep aesthetic shaped bowl from Sydney, Australia with a swan finial and a twig shaped handle
I hadn't realized how important the swan is to the
Australians, but Paul
Livingston has sent me information which shows the black swan on the
Australia flag and Coat of Arms. The black swan is unique to Australia.
very unusual unmarked spoon featuring a bowl cut out into the shape of a monkey. The handle is a palm tree with a coconut finial.
a very nice citrus vermeil bowl with "Ashville"
This Dominick and Haff spoon features a tree and a star vine on the front
and a flower/corn on the back
The raised element in the bowl and the vine are typical of Japanesque styling from early 1890's.