City names have been incorporated in silver souvenir spoons since the very beginning of the collecting movement. In fact, the first souvenir spoons in the late 1880's to early 1890's were simple flatware pieces with the city name engraved in the bowl.
During the 1910 - 1920's there was a revival of the silver souvenir spoon movement. A number of new spoons were created in sterling, but they tended toward the "art deco" style which was plainer. (I personally like the art nuevo style better, but that is a matter of personal taste). Most of these tended to be all mechanically made and the bowls were usually left plain.
One of my favorite classes of these later pieces is the city name cutout of the handle in fancy script. These spoons are usually made using special cutout dies and are made by machine. Sometimes the spoons are decorated further by hand.
But a small subset of these spoons are cutout by hand. Cut card silverwork has been available for centuries, but it is a time consuming process. These city spoons are usually only marked sterling, but they are similar in style so I suspect that it was one firm which produced most of them. I further suspect (without proof) that this small firm would set up a booth at county fairs etc. and produce the spoons while the customer visited the fair. These spoons have been identified by the term "hand done" in this exhibit.
In some cases, only the city name is available. When the spoon was purchased, that was obviously not a problem, but today that is a problem because so many cities have common names. Sometimes we can make an educated guess, but can never be positive. It is also possible that identical spoons were marketed in different cities of the same name. if I am not sure of the state, I have used a question mark (?).
The Cities are shown in alphabetical order.
Brookville, Pennsylvania? Hand done
Cedar Point, Ohio?
Ft. Madison, Iowa
Grand Pre NS (Nova Scotia)-hand done
Halifax Nova Scotia, Can-hand done
the bowl on this spoon has an embossed picture of the "old Dutch church" built 1755Hanford, Washington?
Hot Springs, Georgia?
Kansas City, ? (Mo or Ks)
Lake Okoboji, Iowa
Portugese enclave near China
Manila, Philippines --filigree
Manila, Philippines--bamboo stem
Note: this is a machine pounded handle. It was designed to imitate the "arts and crafts" style
This custom made (hand done) sterling spoon has fine quality roulette work. This is also a left handed spoon with a twisty handle and a heart shaped bowl.
The bowl is flower shaped
This custom made (Hand done) left handed spoon is similar to the Norfolk spoon, but does have a different bowl.
Sioux City, Iowa
South Bend, Indiana
Utica, New York
Valley, City, North Dakota?
Winner, South Dakota
These spoons are available from a number of different cities, and I believe make for an interesting collection. For a new collector, this would be an ideal way to build up a nice specialized collection without spending a lot of money.
Hand cutout silver is one of my favorite silversmithing design techniques. You can see some excellent examples in the section on Unusual Indonesian Servers and there are also some examples under Coin Spoons
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