A spoonful of sugar

This lovely little demitasse spoon is part of a set of 6 my mother-in-law gave to me after one day I mentioned that I didn’t have any silver and that I really wanted some.  I use these spoons constantly as they were intended to be used: for coffee and tea.

Demitasse comes from the French meaning ‘half cup.’  These spoons would be used with small cups of coffee (usually espresso) or tea, and were laid delicately along the saucer after use.  My tea cup is somewhat larger than what these spoons were intended for, but that doesn’t bother me one bit!

Originally my mother-in-law’s grandmother’s spoons, the wife of a wealthy doctor in Omaha, these silver plated spoons look simple with a single flower, tapered end, and scroll work, but the most intriguing thing about these spoons is the separate pattern on the back.

When I first received these spoons, I didn’t look too closely at the pattern on the back of the handle, and just assumed it was the scrolled indentation from the front.  Looking at it now, this pattern reminds me of later Art Nouveau designs:

Art Nouveau handle

Henry Richards, Art Nouveau tile, © Tile Heaven

Henry Richards, Art Nouveau tile, © Tile Heaven

Henry Richards, Art Nouveau tile, © Tile Heaven

Henry Richards, Art Nouveau tile, © Tile Heaven

Art Nouveau (roughly 1880s to 1914) is an aesthetic movement most popular in France, utilizing flowing lines and elements of nature.  In America, the movement provides a seamless transition of art and design from the Arts and Crafts movement (1860 to 1910) into Art Deco elements seen in the 1920s and 1930s.

Along the thinnest part of the handle, the spoon is stamped with PATDEC2710 1881 ® ROGERS ® A1, providing the researcher with the most important information about the spoons: the maker and date created.

Identifying the Maker

This set of spoons was patented on December 27, 1910, by Rogers 1881, started by Wm. A Rogers in the 1890s (this doesn’t exactly explain the 1881 date), and illustrates the Greylock pattern. Oneida, Ltd. bought the Rogers 1881 company in 1929 for just under $3 million.

While not quite Lord and Lady worthy, or even English, I feel as if I have a piece of high class Omaha opulence, Downton Abbey style.  Now for that cup of tea!

Do you all have any anything that makes you feel like you’re rolling in the riches of pre-(or even post-!) WWI elegance?

Further Reading and Silver Makers Mark Identification:

B., Giorgio. ‘Rogers: American Silver and Silverplate Manufacturers.’ A Small Collection of Antique Silver and Objects of Vertu. 19 March 2013. Web. 26 May 2013 http://www.silvercollection.it/index.html

“Silver Flatware Patterns – 1881 Rogers.” Sterling Flatware Fashions and Facts: A Comprehensive Guide to American Sterling Silver Flatware. 20 January 2013. Web. 26 May 2013 http://www.sterlingflatwarefashions.com/index.html

Edmonds, Walter D. The First Hundred Years, 1848-1948: 1848 Oneida Community; 1880, Oneida Community Limited; 1935, Oneida, LTD. Kenwood: Oneida, Ltd., 1958. Syracuse University Library.  26 May 2013. Web. 26 May 2013 http://library.syr.edu/digital/collections/f/FirstHundredYears,1848-1948/

Gontar, Cybele.  ‘Art Nouveau.’ Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. October 2006. Web. 26 May 2013 http://www.metmuseum.org/toah/hd/artn/hd_artn.htm

Obniski, Monica. ‘The Arts and Crafts Movement in America.’ Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. June 2008. Web. 26 May 2013 http://www.metmuseum.org/toah/hd/acam/hd_acam.htm\

Richards, Henry.  Light blue flowers on an art nouveau majolica tile .Photograph. 29 June 2012. Art Nouveau Majolica Tile. Tile Heaven. Web. 30 May 2013. Web. 30 May 2012. http://www.tile-heaven.co.uk/deets/05061.htm
Richards, Henry.  Blue poppies on an art nouveau majolica tile. Photograph. 8 November 2012. Art Nouveau Majolica Tile. Tile Heaven. Web. 30 May 2013. http://www.tile-heaven.co.uk/deets/05173.htm

Triggs, Oscar Lovell.  Chapters in the History of the Arts and Crafts Movement.  Chicago: Bohemia Guild of the Industrial Art League, 1902. Cornell University Library.  8 March 2010. Web. 26 May 2013 http://archive.org/details/cu31924032649828

Wyler, Seymour B.  The Book of Old Silver: English American Foreign.  New York: Crown Publishers, Inc., 1937. Print.



Filed under 1910s, Art Nouveau, Silver

3 responses to “A spoonful of sugar

  1. Pingback: Hallelujah indeed | Blue Ridge Vintage

  2. David Marshall

    This is just a brief thank you for this blog post you made almost two years ago. In researching a spoon that my mother (now 92) inherited from her mother, I found your post. It turns out we have the very same spoon with identical designs and maker marks. It was fun to read your research on the set. Alas, we only have one spoon, but it means a lot that it came from my grandmother’s collection.

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