From the 1870's through 1900, silver styles went through many changes in a quest to find new and interesting designs which would appeal to an ever fickle "nuevo-rich" upperclass. Despite collectible dealers calling things "Victorian", there is no such thing as a "Victorian Style" although the heavily engraved spoons probably come closest to that description..
The Victorians were very interested in history, and reused many of the ideas and stylistic devices which had been abandoned over the years. Sometimes in their enthusiasm they combined elements from different styles. They thought that this was perfectly natural as they were choosing the best elements and recombining them in new ways. Later art critics (1900-1950) would vociferously decry this practice and they accused the various Victorian styles as being poor art. A century later, tastes have changed again. We now look at these various styles as original and interesting. Do I like everything in these styles -- no. Many of the American silver firms simply made up names to go with their chosen image in an attempt to provide a connection with the past. But for the most part I do find the output to be dynamic, interesting and usually exhibiting a high degree of silversmithing excellence.
For the most part, these spoons and silver items are not considered to be part of the souvenir spoon movement, but I have grown increasingly interested in the many varied and unusual designs which were produced. In addition, many of these designs were carried over from this era into souvenir spoons.
Some of this information has been in this museum for awhile, but under different names. The purpose of this exhibit is to organize this information and put it into a more understandable context.
Click on the various categories to see some of these pieces.
|Aesthetic Silver Beginnings *new*|
|Aesthetic Silver spoons|
|Aesthetic style souvenir spoons|
|Aesthetic style server spoons|
|Neoclassic Period spoon|
|Greek Revival spoons|
|Medallion souvenir spoons|
|Ancient coin spoons|
|Medallion Presentation Spoon|
|Medallion Monkey Spoon|
|Persian Style Flatware (gilded age)|
|Italian Style Gothic spoon|
|Victorian Engraved Spoons|
|Gothic Revival spoon|
|Gothic Revival Arts and Crafts spoons|
|Gothic Revival Plique-a-jour spoon|
|Gothic Style 60th anniv. spoon
Mixed Metal Spoons
Claret or Stirring Spoons