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Collecting Sterling Silver Souvenir Spoons


Historical, Educational and Fun to Collect

Sterling silver souvenir spoons were first popular in Europe in the mid 1800's. As people began to travel to America, in the late 1890's, the craze of collecting spoons began here. They were reasonably priced, so almost everyone could afford them. Souvenir spoons were made in cities, towns and villages all across America. Many were designed with elaborate embossed handles and had famous buildings, places, etc. embossed or inscribed in the bowl.

Today, popular themes include: American Indians, Black Americana, bridges, court houses, fairs & expositions, famous people, national parks, political, schools, states, transportation, etc. Many people collect spoons from their hometown or places they have visited. Let's take a look at some examples of sterling silver souvenir spoons, their artistic qualities and beauty.

Photo Credit: Bexley

Portland Head Lighthouse

Portland Head Lighthouse

Portland, Maine Sterling Silver Souvenir Spoon

Portland Head Lighthouse

This sterling souvenir spoon is from Portland, Maine. The bowl is embossed with an image of Portland Head Lighthouse. The handle is embossed with images of a state motto, two men with tools, deer, elk, canoe and paddle. The back of the handle shows an American eagle and two flags. Marked Sterling.

The bowl of this spoon is a classic example of an embossed design. As you can see, the image is slightly raised. Many souvenir spoons had embossed designs in the bowl, but some were engraved or left plain.

Photo Credit: Bexley

Sterling Silver Souvenir State Spoons - Unique Souvenir Spoons for Your Collection

You'll find a great selection of sterling souvenir spoons on ebay.


Chicago Sterling Silver Souvenir Spoon

Wallace Silver

This spoon is from Chicago, IL. The embossed handle depicts images of Chicago City Hall, Fort Dearborn and Logan Monument. The back of the spoon shows Grant Monument and the Post Office. The bowl of this spoon was engraved with a design of the Masonic Temple Building in Chicago. Marked Sterling with Wallace Silver hallmark.

Most sterling silver souvenir spoons were embossed with elaborate scenes and symbols of the subject, such as places, states or historical events such as seen in this example.

Photo Credit: Bexley

Pikes Peak Railroad and Atlantic City Hotel Traymore - Sterling Silver Souvenir Spoons With Cut-Out Design

Sterling Souvenir Spoons, Photo Credit: Bexley

Sterling Souvenir Spoons, Photo Credit: Bexley

The Pikes Peak Railroad sterling spoon and Atlantic City Hotel Traymore sterling spoon show how some souvenir spoons have cut-out designs on the handle. Marked Sterling.

Photo Credit: Bexley

  • Online Encyclopedia of Silver Marks, Hallmarks & Maker's Marks
    Excellent resource for researching silver marks, hallmarks, and maker's marks found on antique and vintage silver. Includes American Silver Marks, Maker's Marks & Trademarks: A-Z Menu, pictorial marks, initial marks and unidentified marks. World
  • American Souvenir Spoons
    An article on the comparison of two books written on Souvenir Spoons in 1891: "Souvenir Spoons" by George B. James, Jr., published by A. W. Fuller & Co., Boston, Mass. and "Souvenir Spoons of America" compiled by the jewelers' Circular Publishing

Great Places to Visit!

Resources for Sterling Souvenir Spoon Collectors

Sterling Hallmark - R. Wallace & Sons

Sterling Hallmark - R. Wallace & Sons

Sterling Hallmark - R. Wallace & Sons

Sterling Souvenir Spoon, Photo Credit: Bexley

Sterling Souvenir Spoon, Photo Credit: Bexley

Where Can I Find Sterling Souvenir Spoons?

Sterling souvenir spoons can be found in antique shops, flea markets, estate sales, second hand stores and even at garage sales. They can also be found on the internet on websites such as ebay and websites selling antiques.

Photo: Sterling Souvenir Spoon - Dulany Memorial Library, Paris, Missouri

Photo Credit: Bexley

Sterling Silver Souvenir Spoons - Expositions and Fairs - Historical Places and Events

Collecting sterling souvenir spoons from expositions, fairs and special events is educational and fun. You'll find a great variety of spoons available on ebay.

Caring for Sterling Silver Souvenir Spoons

Silver Polish for Sterling Silver - Clean, Polish and Protect

Recommended for cleaning, polishing and protecting antique sterling silver.

Sterling Silver Souvenir Spoons - Eva, Grandpa & Mary Elizabeth

Sterling Silver Souvenir Spoons - Eva, Grandpa & Mary Elizabeth

Sterling Silver Souvenir Spoons - Eva, Grandpa & Mary Elizabeth

Spoon Collector's Clubs

Collecting sterling souvenir spoons is fascinating and fun. There are collector clubs in the United States for "spooners" who love to collect spoons. They meet with other collectors to buy, sell and trade spoons and to share their information.

Please take a minute to leave a comment or just say hello. I love hearing from visitors!

Thanks For Visiting Today!

Ann on March 26, 2020:

can you use the aluminum, baking soda and hot water technique to clean souvenir spoons without damaging insignias or name?

Bexley (author) on November 19, 2013:

@SavioC: So glad you discovered these collectible sterling spoons. Thanks for stopping by!

Bexley (author) on November 19, 2013:

@MissNikkiSays: MissNikki, Collecting sterling silver souvenir spoons is interesting, educational and fun. Thanks for visiting!

Bexley (author) on November 19, 2013:

@karenlinc: Karen, I haven't seen a vintage sterling silver spoon with the word "November" cut from the handle. It may have been made in modern times. The best way to get ideas for value is to check ebay, Etsy or other markets for something similar. For sterling value, the spoon should be marked "Sterling" or "925". Sterling silver souvenir spoons can be purchased for $10 and up. Rare sterling spoons can be very expensive. Thanks for your interest.

karenlinc on November 17, 2013:

silver teaspoon with the month "november" cut out of handle... i was born in november in 1947, my dad in november 1916. where did these come from and how much are they worth? very thin silver.

MissNikkiSays on October 29, 2013:

My aunt loves to collect these spoons.

SavioC on October 02, 2013:

This is really nice. Its the first time I am hearing about these types of spoons. Liked some of them you showed. Thanks.

wiseriverman on May 08, 2013:

How interesting this all is. The spoons are lovely collectibles. What a nice hobby.

bossypants on September 29, 2012:

Enjoyed reading about these spoons! I especially like the Pikes Peak Railroad spoons with the cut out design. I own only one souvenir spoon. It's from Chicago's World's Columbian Exposition of 1893 (a favorite event of mine).

Bexley (author) on September 15, 2012:

@chas65: Hello Charles...nice to meet another antique dealer. You're right...collecting spoons is not as popular as a few years ago. I do believe there are still collectors for rare sterling spoons that are hard to find. We've sold a few on eBay. A lot of antiques and collectibles today just don't interest the younger generation. Thanks for visiting!

chas65 on September 14, 2012:

Having been an antique dealer for 25 years, I remember when collecting spoons, especially silver ones, was a hot collectible. They don't seem as popular now, but a lot of collectibles fall into that category because young people don't seem interested in older collectibles.