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Sunday, October 5, 2008

Travel Souvenir Collections Part 1 - Spoons

As a child I enjoyed learning about new places and the customs and people who lived there.
I jumped on every opportunity to travel. This continued during my childhood, youth and adulthood. As an adult I found that working at secondary and then college levels gave me many opportunities to travel. Often the cost was minimal since I went as a group leader. Thus I saw Mexico City, Guadalajara, Greece and the Agean Islands. Attending professional conferences took me to many states as well as to England.

One of my collections which record the places I’ve been are my souvenir spoons. The first such spoon I received in Switzerland as a graduate student doing a grand tour of the continent. It is an advertising spoon from the jeweler, Bucherer, and promotes Rolex.

I only collect spoons of places I’ve actually visited in the States and in Europe. Example, if a particular city, building or point of interest is featured on the spoon, I wan it only if I had been to that particular place. I’ve visited Montreal, Canada. So I collect spoons featuring Canada and Montreal, but not say, Toronto or Quebec, since I’ve not been to either city.
Some of my earliest spoons are the typical souvenir designs made of fake-looking metals, such as these from Florida and Washington, both of which were gifts.
However, I soon began to concentrate on finding silver spoons wherever possible, including shops in airports. Along the way, I got this one in pewter from Salem, Massachusetts.

In my post last Friday I mentioned doing other posts on various collections mentioned. I've been reluctant to write about the souvenir spoons collection since I haven’t gotten to polish them. They look quite tarnished, however today I thought I write about them anyway, since many bloggers indicate they don't mind the tarnished look of unpolished silver.

This display is in the kitchen on a spoon rack I got at a local thrift store for $3.00. The spoons are vintage silverplated state spoons from W.A. Rogers. The State Souvenir Collector Spoons, plus the matching United States Sugar Spoon, were very popular gifts to take back to family and friends.

Each spoon has the state name, state seal and an eagle.
My spoons are for the following states which I have visited:
New Hampshire
New Jersey
New York

Another wooden display rack is on the wall in the study and has only United States spoons:

The collection has groups of spoons that are from various series that share features in their designs. The next photo shows three 4" spoons for three states that were made in Norway. These were marked "T.H Martinsen Norway E.P.N.S.40 F&F." They are for Connecticut, New York and Rhode Island. Each has the state outline on the bowl, the state name on the handle and state seal on the top.

Another series has pierced motifs at the top of handle which portray a place or munument of interest. A steer for Texas, flamingo for Florida, and the Cathedral in the Pines, New Hampshire. I’ve been to the outdoor Cathedral several times, for sunset vespers and for a co-worker’s wedding. Note that the Old Man of the Mountains in New Hampshire (3rd from left) is now gone, having collapsed in 2003. It now exists in memory and various photos and other artifacts which depicted that natural wonder.

A third group has colorful tops which depict a tourist attraction such as Mission Dolores in San Francisco, New Orleans showing the Cathedral in Jackson Square, and Massachusetts state bird and flower.

Some of my spoons represent cities I’ve visited - Dallas, San Francisco, New Orleans, and Washington, DC. The one from Dallas has the Hyatt Regency depicted. I had a lovely breakfast there, part of a book and author presentation.

There are still eleven states I have visited that are not represented in the spoon collection: Alabama, Delaware, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Michigan, Nebraska, North Carolina, Oregon, and Virginia.

This photo shows a second spoon rack, also bought at a thrift store last year (for $2.00), displays spoons for foreign countries and cities on the upper row, and U.S. states and cities on the lower row. It was made in Canada and has the original label with a maple leaf and "Seaway Lock. Iroquois, Ont." The rack hangs in the dining room.

Now the entire rack is reserved for foreign spoons only.

Foreign countries I’ve visited and have a spoon for are:

Spoons representing cities in the foreign countries I’ve visited include London, Lucerne, Paris, Rome, Venice, and the island of Mykonos, Greece shown here:

Finally, a few of my spoons represent specific historic places such as the United States Capitol in DC, and Blenheim Palace near Oxford, England. The one for the Capitol is sterling and is a tiny 3.25 in. It is probably a salt spoon.
I hope you enjoyed this introduction to my travel souvenir collections. Part 2 will cover the blue and white souvenir plates. Let me know if you also collect souvenir spoons or plates.

If anyone has any silver plated souvenir spoons they would like to offer for swap, let me know:
States needed:
North Carolina

Foreign Countries needed:

Foreign Cities needed:
Canada - Montreal
Belgium - Brussels
England - Bath, Coventry, Stratford-Upon-Avon
France - Grenoble, Nice
Germany - Cologne, Koblenz, Oberammergau
Greece - Athens
Italy - Pisa, Siena, Murano
Mexico – Guadalajara, Mexico City, Puebla
Netherlands - Amsterdam, The Hague

Silverplated Spoons I have for swap:
W.A. Rogers State Souvenir Collector Spoon for California silver plated 6 inches long - 2
W.A. Rogers State Souvenir Collector Spoon for Massachusetts silver plated 6 inches long
W.A. Rogers State Souvenir Collector Spoon for New Jersey silver plated 6 inches long
W.A. Rogers State Souvenir Collector Spoon for New York silver plated 6 inches long - 2
W.A. Rogers State Souvenir Collector Spoon for Wisconsin silver plated 6 inches long - 2
Canada – commemorative "The Mounties/ Brampton" - silver plated 4.5 inches long


Sarah said...

Hi Carrie! You’re invited to “My Favorite Things Monday” inspired by the Sound of Music! You sharing a picture and story of your current ‘favorite thing’ that cheered you up when life got you down, would be a blessing! I hope you can come! http://www.sarahlcc.blogspot.com What a nifty collection! I have a spoon display case my Grandmother gave me, but no spoons!

Anonymous said...

Wow - Carrie - what an amazing collection of spoons you have!!!

Decor To Adore said...

Great collectibles. Our family collects Christmas ornaments from places we have visited. This can sometimes be tricky.
My seven year old collects flattened pennies. (The kind you create in a machine.)

Kelli said...

What an amazing collection, Carrie! I enjoyed hearing about them and seeing how you have them displayed!

CIELO said...

Hi Carrie... nice collection. I love old tarnished silver spoons; I've been looking for some in thrift stores, but haven't had the luck yet. :)

Have a lovely day


Skoots1moM said...

love your spoons...the only silver ones i have are my daughter's baby spoons...she's 16 and still eats ice cream with them :)

i'm hoping to start traveling more once she's off to college then i can start my spoon collection...what great memory makers...i bet you remember where you bought each one

thanks for coming by my blog...come again soon!

Stephanie ~ Angelic Accents said...

What a nice blog you have! So glad you found mine, because it led me to yours! You have some wonderful collections. My dear late MIL also collected spoons from every place they traveled.

Big TX Hugs,
Angelic Accents

Schotzy said...

Fabulous collection, which reminds me, I have a collection tht I put away somewhere years ago, and I have no idea where it is now! Hmmmm!

Salmagundi said...

You have a great collection of spoons. I have a few from my childhood traveling, but never got into it as an adult. I always look at them at antique shows, and wish I had. Enjoyed this post, and I must come back to check out your past posts! Sally

Yellow Rose Arbor said...

What a great collection of spoons!

I only have two, or three, spoons!


Anonymous said...

Hello, my sister has the stratford on avon spoon... i dont think she will give it up.(i apoligize) but if you do know the history on the spoon i would really like to know every detail. email me at 'cheyisbamf@hotmail.com'
Thank you.

Anonymous said...

Greetings! I am Valery from Ukraine.I collect souvenir spoons from the different countries and I can exchange. If somebody wants the spoon from Ukraine or Poland, write to me. Valery

Anonymous said...

Greetings! I am Valery from Ukraine. I here recently. I collect souvenir spoons from the different countries and I can exchange. If somebody wants the spoon from Ukraine or Poland, write to me.vkuniansky@mail.ru

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