This might be considered a companion piece to yesterday’s post on Celery Vases in that with one significant difference it might be hard for today’s collector to tell the difference between a spoon holder and a celery vase. In short, celery vases are tall enough to easily hold celery stalks while spooners, sometimes called spoon holders, were much shorter so that the handles of the spoons stood above the rim of the holder.
Spooners sometimes looked like handled sugar bowls, however, the absence of a ring in which a lid would have seated will confirm the piece is a spooner rather than a sugar bowl.
Knives and forks were usually kept in drawers while spoons were kept in spooners on the table. Spooners were made of cut glass, silver, white metal, Brittania ware, etc. The glass ones were clear, colored, or clear with colored accents. Spooners were squat or sometimes on bases increasing the height of the overall piece without making the container too tall to hold the spoons. Silver bases with glass inserts and round, silver combination sugar bowl and spoon holders also decorated many a Victorian table. A spooner might have one handle or two.
Spooners were often offered as prizes at agricultural fairs, given as prizes for subscriptions to magazines, or given as wedding or anniversary gifts. Miss Caroline Schermerhorn Astor, daughter of William Astor and great grand-daughter of John Jacob Astor, received a silver spoon holder and “several sets” of silver spoons when she married Marshall Orme Wilson in 1884.
Silver spooners were one of the souvenirs of the 1903 World’s Fair and I found them listed in household inventories and appraisals into the 1920’s, but while those who had them sometimes continued to use them after they were no longer advertised for sale, by the 1930’s spooners were rarely seen except in museums or antiques shops. And now, gentle reader, I bid you adieu and Blissful Meals.©