Now THERE is a righteous load of old souvenir spoons!
Ever find 'em at fleas and garage sales? Ever wonder, why did people collect these? Do you find yourself drawn to them?
Have you thought it would be okay to repurpose them?
I did a bit of research over the past few days and found out a bit about the origins of souvenir spoons. Here's an interesting read from PBS:
Quoting just a bit from the article:
Souvenir spoons grew out of the birth of leisure tourism in Europe around the mid 1800s. Wealthy Americans on a Grand Tour of Europe brought home these souvenirs marked with the names of cities and some of the famous landmarks they had seen.
The first souvenir spoons produced in the United States were products of well-traveled silversmiths. The inaugural souvenir spoon was produced in 1889 by Galt & Bros of Washington D.C. It featured a profile of George Washington and was created to mark the 100th anniversary of his presidency. It was shortly followed by the Martha Washington spoon.
These early spoons were all made in STERLING. So be sure to watch for sterling marks on the spoons. Some may even have a hallmark, or at least the word STERLING or the .925 mark.
If you are out junking and find old spoons, it's most likely you will find silverplated ones (though you should always check for sterling marks). Some of the silverplated ones are made on brass blanks like these:
The handles are usually thin and easier to deal with than big silverplated flatware, in case you would like to repurpose them.
But wait! Do the spoons have any value?
Most of the ones I researched are worth anyplace from 5-15.00 each. Ones that come from very common tourist attractions, like for example, Niagara Falls, aren't worth much, as many, many were made, collected and sold.
Normally, values of silverplated spoons do not go terribly high; they are of later make. The most valuable ones are from rare places or something that the collector doesn't have and really, really wants---and must have. It is odd that a plated spoon would ever fetch over 50.00.
Here is a really good internet website I found that will help you decide what to do with your spoon collection:
Now here is something SPECTACULAR that Renee Webb Allen did with HERS (and oh, BTW, the spoons in the shot at the top of this post were her stash):
Is that AMAZING....or what?
I have taken the tops of a few demitasse spoons and filed them off to make little pendants; that's such a pretty think to do...but these souvenir ones are so colorful!
NOW THEN: you who are mixed media artists can take it to the next level. Using some of the new brass spoon blanks from B'sue Boutiques, you could add images of family, flowers, comic characters, text, you name it......mod podge them in, and top with resin. Cut, file, drill....and you have your own CUSTOM art charms, TOTALLY one of a kind.
Got your gears going yet?
We sold a lot of the spoons but still have some....more will also be arriving after the first of the year. This sort of art charm thing would even make a good challenge for the B'sue Boutiques Creative Group
Why don't YOU come and join us? We wish you would!