The San Francisco Cliff House is perhaps the most famous of this type of establishment in the world. Located on a high bluff overlooking the blue Pacific, the Cliff House was a very popular destination for both local residents and tourists. The Original Cliff House was built in the early 1890's. A fire destroyed it around the turn of the century and it was rebuilt bigger and bolder than ever.
Because of its popularity with the upper middle class, we find many spoon varieties from this site.
The popularity of this Cliff House inspired other builders and a few similar type establishments were built in other areas. Sometimes spoons are also available for other cliff houses.
Nice engraved picture of the first Cliff House Demi engraved view from land
Two nice engraved views of the Second Cliff House
One of the joys of collecting engraved spoons is that each view is a little different. These spoons were made by artist-engravers, they are NOT mechanical reproductions
Very close to the Cliff House is an area known as the SEAL ROCKS. Many sea mammals make this area home and it supports an extensive natural hatchery for baby seals. Obviously this was a further attraction for weekenders. Some spoons show both the Cliff House and Seal Rocks in the same view.
These two spoons are very similar in that they both show the seal rocks and the cliff house in close proximity. But observe them carefully. Not only are the handles substantially different, but the bowls (which are embossed--not engraved) are also slightly different. That means they were made from different dies, even though they are both from the same manufacturer (R. Wallace and Sons). I suspect that the first die either wore out from overuse or it was dropped and damaged. Dies were (still are) extremely expensive to make. At that time in history, a die would cost over $2000 which today would be in excess of $25,000 (assuming you could even find a tool and die maker who could do this quality of work).
acid etched view of the "new Cliff House" with a miner pan finial
The Castle Rock (I haven't been able to determine the location yet)
Vista House, Columbia River, Oregon
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