Marshall Plan



Commemorative Spoons

Norwegian spoon celebrating Victory from Nazi Oppression. Observe the broken chains near the top of the bowl. Embossed "Norge 1945" in the bowl. Made of 830 silver. Note: this spoon comes in several different sizes and sometimes has a flat bowl, but this bowl is ladle shaped.

I particularly enjoy spoons which are more than simple souvenirs. Since I am very interested in historical trends, my personal preference is for spoons that have a historical significance, and, if possible, a connection to an important historical event or trend. I guess that to a certain degree, I am fortunate that the majority of spooners do not share my historical interests, as other spoons are often more highly sought after and more highly priced.

As we have seen in other exhibits, some spoons require research before they can be fully understood. I have had this spoon in my collection for a very long time. When I first purchased it, I instinctively realized that it had some historical importance, but it was not until I had done the research that I realized how much importance I should assign to it.

The finial says "rebild" and the stem says "Danmark" as you can plainly see.

I was unaware of the significance of the cabin, but an alert reader explains it all below.

The flags just above the bowl which required a magnifying glass to see are the final clue to put everything in perspective.

The Danish and American flags

I discovered that there is a Rebild society in Denmark whose goal is to improve relations between the USA and Denmark. The society was founded in 1912 and U.S. Pres. William Taft was made an honorary president. (There is also a town named Rebild)

"And a country like Denmark must never forget that, if it hadn't been for the USA's and England's massive human and material sacrifices, there would not have been any way for Europe, including Denmark, to be freed of the Nazi yoke and rewin our freedom. For this I will always be thankful."

Christopher Carradine writes:

"The Rebild Spoon, Danmark  in your posting of Marshall Plan Collectibles celebrates the Rebild Festival near Aalborg, Denmark.  You have correctly discovered that the festival celebrates Danish American Independence.

The meaning of the house: It is called the Lincoln log cabin and was constructed in the heathered hills of Rebild National Park. It has long been a symbol of the park and the festival. The one depicted on the spoon was built in the 1920's and contained a log from each of the then-48 United States of America. It was threatened with destruction by the Nazi occupiers, but survived the war -- miraculously it would seem considering the extent of destruction wrought from 1939 to 1945.  The log cabin was particularly threatened both for it's representation of Danish-American friendship and because it was suspected as a safe house for the Danish Underground.  Unfortunately the original building was destroyed by fire in 1993. The replacement was made in Washington State of seasoned Cedar logs and the building located on a ridge overlooking the parkland and the natural arena where the festival is held each year on the 4th of July. It serves as a museum and reliquary for artifacts thought important to the history of Danish American friendship and celebrates noted individuals who have contributed to a shared culture of trust, obligation, patriotism and family.

Why would I know this?  My great-grandfather Max Henius founded the festival in 1912, was instrumental in the making of both the event, and the buildings. He was a guest of honor in 1935 and ended his life there in a car accident outside Aalborg returning to his hotel. My Grandfather, Henry Robert Henius, a noted Danish-American brewmaster was a guest of honor and featured speaker for the festival in 1962 and passed away peacefully shortly after delivering his speech -- on the podium.

I have many artifacts attributable to this location and event -- programs, letters, newspapers, and the like --plus B&G and Royal Danish blue plates --- only missing a few.

Seeing pictures of the spoon was a pleasant surprise."

For those of you who are unfamiliar with the Marshall Plan:

In the late 1940's, Europe was still devastated by the destruction of World War ll. The economy was in a state of collapse and tens of thousands of people were dying of hunger and diseases caused by lack of proper food, housing, and sanitary conditions.

In virtually every previous conflict in human history, the victor exacted spoils from the loser. This left the defeated countries in a devastated state and decades or centuries would be required for them to recover. President Harry S. Truman and his Secretary of State George C. Marshall realized that to follow a policy of revenge (which was politically popular) was not in the best interest of Europe or the United States.

In an historic and unprecedented manner, Marshall devised a plan wherein the United States would spend over 13 billion dollars to rebuild Europe and restore its industry, housing and culture. This was an extremely expensive course of action for the United States as it was deeply in debt after the war and it was also highly controversial as many Americans simply wanted to leave Europe to its own fate.

Thus this silver spoon was a special commemorative to honor this historic plan.

The marks on this spoon are the Copenhagen Control mark and the
Assay Master mark for J. Sigsgaard (1933-1960)

National Crisis Comite (NCC)

I have been unable to learn more about the "National Crisis Comite", but based upon marks and styling I suspect that it also dates from the time of the Marshall Plan. If anyone knows more about this spoon, please contact me.

This interesting little spoon contains a Netherlands mark for silver and a manufacturer mark for Gerritsen & Van Kempen silversmithing company. This Zeist, Netherlands firm was founded in 1924 and merged with another company in 1960. It was also very active in the "arts and crafts" movement.

This demi spoon is the same genre as the others. It shows a figural representation of Victory, but the control mark is for C.F. Heise (1904-1932) so perhaps this was to commemorate the end of World War 1. This figure of Victory is derived from the 10th century Queen Thyra of Denmark. As the wife of King Gorm, she protected the land against its southern enemies and is reputed to "have the sagacity of Nestor, the astuteness of Ulysses, and the wisdom of Solomon".

I surprised myself by finding a large (7.3") set of Thyra by C. Klestrup

This very unusual vermeil bowl arts and crafts spoon refers to July, 1918 (although the spoon was made in 1919). I suspect that it refers to the final Ally assault on Germany which freed the Netherlands and led to the end of World War 1.

This high quality 6.4" spoon was made by Anton Michelsen with designs by Mogens Ballin and Thorvald Bindesboll.
I think that there is a lot of symbolism in this spoon and if anyone wishes to comment upon it please contact me.

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