Spoons with an intricate repousse/chased display of fruits and berries became popular in the late Victorian era (roughly 1850-1880).

At first spoons were custom made in this style, and then some clever silversmiths realized that they could buy cheaper old
Georgian era serving spoons and convert the bowls into the newer style.

A lot of holders of old Georgian silver also liked this idea and a large number of  spoons were so converted.

After the death of Queen Victoria and with the emergence of the Art Nouveau style, there was a lot of
'art critic' criticism of the Victorian era.  This criticism lasted for over 20 years and a lot of Victorian artistry was
condemned  as being poor taste.

There are always some 'purists' around and a few vocal art critics criticized this silver practice and claimed
that the nice 'styling' of the Georgian spoons was ruined by this practice.

I, however, like this detailed styling MUCH more than the old Georgian style tablespoons and am happy to add them to my collection.

Thus you will sometimes find Georgian style English marks with these later modified bowls.

We are now 100+ years later in time and Victorian artistry is again appreciated although Art Nouveau is still considered to be a beautiful style.

The making (and remaking) of berry spoons in this style was practiced throughout Europe and the USA.

Note: there are a lot of modern silver plated spoons in the 'Victorian' style. Do not be deceived by these mass produced pieces.

berry pattern spoons
These serving spoons are fairly large so I have included a ruler and a normal tea size spoon in the picture to help you gauge size.
1 & 2.  Silverplated marks for Roberts & Belk of Sheffield England

3. silverplated marks for Thomas Prime of Birmingham

4. Sterling, S. Kirk and Son (1872-1890)

berry pattern spoons
These serving spoons are fairly large so I have included a ruler and a normal tea size spoon in the picture to help you gauge size.
1. London 1833 marks--This is an example of a Georgian style piece converted to berry spoon, sterling
2.  James Parker, San Diego, Calif. (1914 - 1987), sterling
3. unreadable marks, probably sterling
4. Wm Gale Jr, (1853 - 1866), N.Y., patented 1860, sterling
5. Probably German, marked "12" "JV"

berry pattern spoons
This is an example of a Georgian ladle dated 1800, which was upgraded to a classic Victorian style berry spoon ladle
unreadable maker mark

Peter, a collector of British spoons,  recently emailed me a picture of 

a fruit spoon which is clearly marked "Edinburgh".

The marks on this spoon date it to  1830.

This is obviously significantly before the advent of the souvenir spoon movement in the United States.

edinburgh souvenir spoon old

It was a common practice to convert old spoons with unadorned bowls into a newer design and this style of spoon bowl was not  done in the 1830's.

I suspect that this was an 'old spoon' that was updated in the Victorian style and that the engraving of  "Edinburgh" was done at the time  the spoon  was reworked.

We also know that some British caddy spoons from the early 1800's were used as souvenirs, but those are very rare and I do not have any pictures.

I thank Peter for bringing this interesting spoon to my attention.

chinese export silver spoon bamboo

This photo shows three spoons that are most likely 18th century Chinese Export Silver that were modified during the Victorian era into berry serving pieces.

The spoons are very heavy and about 8.5" long. The original spoons were  marked in the bowl when manufactured, but the later modification

appears to have eliminated all but traces of the original markings. Berry spoons are usually found in pairs, but larger sets were made.

The intertwined bamboo style handles are quite unique and this was my first exposure to this style. The handles were cast and hand worked. The silver most likely

came from the tons and tons of European silver coins which were shipped to China to pay for Chinese commodities.

I want to thank David McKinley for helping me analyze these pieces.

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