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( Article orginally published July 1952 )
Some Notes on the Collection of Mrs. J. C. Mitchell o f Boca Raton, Florida, containing some real Rarities!
The "Place and Person" Souvenir Spoons of the late 1880's and 1890's were a natural outgrowth of the famed Apostle Spoons which, so far as is now known, originated in the 15th century, before the discovery of America. These were made in sets of 13; the 12 apostles and the Master. Such spoons were esteemed for their religious significance and so were made in silver, brass, pewter, and tin. The Religious spoons here pictured, from left to right, are (1) Mizpah Spoon (the term meaning watch tower, and eventually, in Biblical phrase, a parting salutation). (2) Saint Paul. (3) Saint Peter. (4) Saint John (this spoon is marked with cross and star and may date from 17th century). (5) Saint Andrew. (6) Saint Philip. Both 5 and 6 are marked and identified as made in late 18th century. (7) Saint Matthew. (8) Saint James the less. Numbers 2, 7, and 8, are mentioned in the Gorham catalog of Souvenir Spoons and date from the 1880's. They are engraved for a Silver Wedding anniversary of 1887, with initials and the two dates 18621887. (9) An "Easter" Spoon, embossed with a floriated handle and with the Resurrection pictured in the bowl. (10) A "Good Fellowship" Foundation Souvenir Spoon.
Spinning Wheel has paid attention to Souvenir Spoons (March 1951; Nov. 1951; Dec. 1951; Oct. 1949). Religious spoons of American make, apparently have not thus far been considered. Mrs. Mitchell is to be congratulated upon starting her collection ahead of a coming vogue!