One Canadian’s impressive souvenir spoon collection. I am a born collector. Stamps, coins, shells – you name it and I have probably collected it at one time or another.
There is one collection though that stands out among the rest, because it led to new adventures that took me down paths I might never have taken otherwise.
It began in Montreal in 1962. I was window shopping one day when I came upon a newly opened store with the intriguing name of Hideaway Antiques. The owner welcomed me as I came in the door. “Look around,” she encouraged.
“Maybe something will catch your eye.”
While examining a tray of silverware, something did indeed catch my eye. It was a spoon unlike any I had seen before. The handle was shaped like a tree branch with a beaver perched on the end and “Montreal” engraved in fancy script in the bowl. I examined the spoon, marvelling at the fine detail. That day I purchased my first souvenir spoon. Little did I know that it would lead me in directions beyond any I could have possibly imagine.
Later that year, when my husband and I honeymooned in the United States, I added more antique spoons to my collection. Shortly afterward, we spend two months in Houston, Texas, where browsing through weekend flea markets turned up thrilling new finds.
Then one day, while exploring the streets of downtown Houston, I noticed a display in a bookstore window. One book jumped out at me. The title was American Spoons: Souvenir and Historical by Dorothy Rainwater and Donna Felger. I bought the book on the spot and read it from cover to cover, amazed and intrigued by the beauty and workmanship of these exquisitely crafted spoons.