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.

Boise, Idaho

Brookville, Pennsylvania? Hand done

Buhl, Idaho

Cedar Point, Ohio?

Earlham, Indiana?

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?

Hartland, Michigan?

Havana, Cuba

Hot Springs, Georgia?

Japan--hand cutout

Kansas City, ? (Mo or Ks)

Lake Okoboji, Iowa

Lewiston, Maine

Louisville, Ky

Portugese enclave near China

Manila, Philippines --filigree

Manila, Philippines--bamboo stem

Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Moline, Illinois?

Note: this is a machine pounded handle. It was designed to imitate the "arts and crafts" style

Norfolk, Virginia

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.

Okinawa, Japan

The bowl is flower shaped

Quebec, Canada

Richmond, Virginia

Shawneetown, Illinois?

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

Tokyo, Japan

Utica, New York

Valley, City, North Dakota?

Wallace, Idaho?

Washington, ?

Whitehall, Michigan

Whitelake, Michigan

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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