Art Nouveau (the new art) swept through the silver industry as well as many other artistic fields.

 A  strong renunciation of  19th century  Victorian era art  was inspired by natural forms and natural structures, with an emphasis on flowers, plants, the human form (primarily women) and curvy lines.
The upcoming change of the calendar to the 20th century gave a major impetus to this style.
The new century also brought with it a change in peoples attitudes towards Victorian morality and lifestyles which we see reflected in the souvenir spoons of the era.

Remember, this was an era when a woman was required to cover up fully, even when at the beach
so these spoons were quite scandalous. (click for common female beach attire)

female nude spoons
left: all spoons are sterling
1.  applied bare breasted  lady on a basic pattern spoon by Mechanics division of Watson, with a hand painted art nouveau lady in the bowl
2.  embossed spoon showing a bare breasted maiden with very long wavy hair by Manchester
3. left leaning bare breasted lady with long hair surrounded by flora  by Mechanics division of Watson. Engraved "Oct 10 '05" with initials in bowl and back of handle
4. slightly smaller version of #3 but the same picture
5.  Love disarmed with child by Reed and Barton. Bowl engraved "Guthrie Okla"
6.  Mermaid by Paye and Baker with back of spoon following design. Embossed flowers in bowl and engraved "Fergus Falls Minn". Back of bowl engraved "E.T.F."

7. Cutout naked female reduced to insect size and examining a flower by Paye and Baker
   8.  Same as #8 but there are no cutouts
9. Bare breasted female with cupid on the right and two angels (Irian pattern) one wielding an arrow by R. Wallace & Sons. Gold washed bowl bright cut engraved picture of a building labeled
"Ladies college  Liberty Mo." patent 1902
10.  Larger version of #10 with bowl engraved "Kansas City, Mo" , patented 1902

bare breasted women spoons

Left:  all spoons are sterling unless otherwise noted
1. We don't have too many nude males on spoons, but Gorham did have one in the Nuremberg series
2.  This looks to me like a bare breasted Greek maiden. I can't read the maker mark (suspect it is sterling but can't prove it)
3. bare breasted  woman holding aloft an enamel shield  for Pennsylvania with Independence Hall embossed in the bowl .
Shepard Manufacturing made a lot of variations of this spoon
4.  This very well designed spoon from Norway features a naked woman holding aloft a baby.
The name of this statue is “Mor og barn”, and it was  made by the Norwegian sculptor and artist Arne Durban (1912-1994). 
The statue is placed in Byparken (The City Park) in Sandefjord
The statue was erected on 17 May, 1950 (The National Day of Norway – the date when Norway separated from Sweden)
 The bowl is an embossed picture of  Sandefjord (see below)
I am usure of how to read the markings on this spoon so I am unsure of the purity of the silver.
I want to thank Kari M. Wefring for providing me with this information.
5.  An example of a naked indian maiden in reference to the White Canoe legend of Niagara Falls.
6. Demi version of the White Canoe  Legend  
featuring a naked indian maiden going over the Niagara Falls. Design carried onto the back of the spoon. A full size version of this spoon is also available.

naked woman spoons
1. Bare breasted woman from St. Maarten carrying a basket of fruit on her head and embossed sailboats in the bowl, sterling, unidentified maker
2.  bare breasted woman holding  a  wreath. Bowl is  marked sterling. no manufacturer mark . The stem has been soldered to the bowl and may not be sterling

art nouveau girl spoon

Extremely rare painted bowl of an Art Nouveau nude

nude spoon san francisco 1939
This moderately  rare sterling art deco nude has extremely long hair which morphs into the deco television tower  symbol for the fair. The bowl features a view of the Golden Gate bridge and the back is marked as the "official souvenir spoon". This spoon is sterling,but this pattern is also available in silver plate at a much lesser cost.

ocean breeze spoon 1939 san francisco fair      
Extremely rare (one of a kind) painted bowl of the statue "Ocean Breeze" from the San Franciso World Fair of 1939

Detail photographs of some of the spoons shown above in no particular order

bare breasted female spoonbare breasted female spoon

bare breasted female spoonbare breasted female spoon

bare breasted female spoonbare breasted female spoon

bare breasted female spoonbare breasted female spoon

bare breasted female spoonsandefjord

San Francisco 1939 spoon bowlbare breasted female spoon

art nouveau nude lady fork
Large Irian pattern fork

Bare breasted female holding an enameled shield with the Detroit skyline in the bowl.
This handle design is available with a lot of bowl variations

victor statue belgrade spoonvictor statue belgrade front spoonvictor statue belgrade spoon
For the ladies--
This is the Victor statue (1928)  in Belgrade, Serbia commemorating the victory over the Ottoman empire
The nude figure has attracted considerable public dissent in Belgrade and was moved to a less obvious location.
It is one of  the most powerful and  popular symbols of Belgrade.
Spoon is a probably a  bronze alloy.

Return to spoon exhibits index