CATALINA SOUVENIR SPOONS: CHARLES M. ROBBINS CO., ATTLEBORO, MA

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Charles M. Robbins maker's mark
Charles M. Robbins maker's mark post 1930

CATALINA SOUVENIR SPOONS: CHARLES M. ROBBINS CO., ATTLEBORO, MA

The C.M. Robbins Co. of Attleboro, MA (1892 – present) was one of the more prolific producers of Catalina souvenir spoons, including both teaspoon and demitasse sizes. Charles May Robbins (1856-1929) founded the Chas M. Robbins Company in 1892 and ran it for the next 18 years. Having become wealthy, he retired from it in 1910. In 1912 the company renamed itself to Robbins Company. The company grew to become a dynamic force in the jewelry manufacturing business, earning a unique place in history as a manufacturer of military badges, Olympic medals and NASA medallions to name a few.


Charles May Robbins (1856-1929) = [1885] Lucy B. Pratt (1854- )

1. Lawrence Brigham Robbins (1886-1953?) [born in NY]
2. Chester May Robbins (1895-1973) [born in MA] = Ruth Johnson


C. M. Robbins died on September 13, 1929 in Attleboro, Massachusetts at age 73. He is buried in Woodlawn Cemetery, Attleboro, MA.


According to Santa Catalina Island souvenir spoon expert, Dr. Harry V. Merrick: “All of Robbins’ Catalina spoons are, in a sense, specialty spoons created especially for the Catalina tourist trade, as all prominently display captions containing “Catalina” (either “Catalina Island” or more frequently “Catalina Isle” on their stems, even those spoons displaying general non-Catalina themes, like fruit and flowers, and California landmarks and attractions. Robbins updated their spoon designs relatively frequently to reflect the changing landscape and tourist attractions at Catalina. Besides producing sterling spoons they also produced “pearl silver” (nickel silver or silver plated) souvenir spoons. Although Robbins produced one embossed bowl design with a ca. 1910-1915 Avalon Bay scene, it appears very infrequently. Moreover, Robbins did not apply it to a wide variety of spoon designs as was the practice of most other prominent Catalina spoon manufacturers producing Catalina scene embossed bowls. Most of Robbins’ Catalina demitasse spoons are simply miniature versions of their teaspoon designs.”

Robbins is one of only two makers to include the Hotel Metropole on a manufactured spoon. (J. Mayer & Bros. figural tuna spoon is the other.) It appears on the reverse of a C.M. Robbins spoon featuring Sugarloaf Rock, a tuna and "Catalina Island" on the front. If one can rely on the image of the glass bottom boat on the reverse, which appears very "Emperor" like, a date of ca. 1912 is probable. [H. V. Merrick]


Hotel Metropole manufactured feature on handle reverse
variant Hotel Metropole manufactured feature
on handle reverse
[original in SCIF archives]













ROBBINS SPOONS WITH SQUARED HANDLE

Stem: CATALINA ISLE
Bowl: plain
Top: scallop; OLD BEN; SUGAR LOAF; TUNA; CATALINA ISLE
Reverse: [first] CASINO; GLASS BOTTOM BOAT; FLYING FISH
Maker: Charles M. Robbins, (1918-1928), (3-part hallmark)
Length: 5-½"
[original in SCIF archives: Kwiat Collection]


Stem: CATALINA ISLE
Bowl: plain
Top: scallop; OLD BEN; NEW CASINO; TUNA; CATALINA ISLE
Reverse: GLASS BOTTOM BOAT; SEA HORSE; FLYING FISH
Maker: Charles M. Robbins, post 1929 (3-part hallmark)
Length: 5-¼"
[original in SCIF archives: Putnam Collection]


Stem: CATALINA ISLAND
Bowl: plain
Top: SUGAR LOAF; TUNA; CATALINA ISLAND
Reverse: GLASS BOTTOM BOAT; FLYING FISH; HOTEL [Metropole-burned in 1915]
Maker: Charles M. Robbins (3-part hallmark)
Length: 5-⅛"
[original in SCIF archives]


Stem: CATALINA ISLAND
Bowl: plain
Top: AVALON; TUNA; ST. CATHERINE; CATALINA ISLAND
Reverse: GLASS BOTTOM BOAT; SEA HORSE
Maker: Charles M. Robbins (3-part hallmark)
Length: 5-⅛"
[original in SCIF archives: Kwiat Collection]


ROBBINS SPOONS WITH POINTED AND NON-PIERCED HANDLE WITH AVALON BAY SCENE

Stem: CATALINA ISLAND
Bowl: plain
Top: UN-Pierced handle: AVALON; 1 pier; steamship; Metropole; Sugar Loaf
Reverse: plain
Maker: Charles M. Robbins (3-part hallmark)
Length: 5-⅝"
[original in SCIF archives: Kwiat Collection]
The pre-1909 harbor configuration with Hotel Metropole and Big Sugar Loaf clearly shown.
Notice only one main pier in the harbor before 1909.


Stem: CATALINA ISLAND
Bowl: plain
Top: AVALON; TUNA; ST. CATHERINE [built 1918]
Reverse: GLASS BOTTOM BOAT; SEA HORSE; FLYING FISH
Maker: Charles M. Robbins (3-part hallmark)
Length: 5-⅛"
[original in SCIF archives: Kwiat Collection]


Stem: CATALINA ISLAND
Bowl: plain
Top: AVALON; TUNA; ST. CATHERINE (1918); CATALINA ISLE [see spoon below]
Reverse: GLASS BOTTOM BOAT; SEA HORSE; FLYING FISH
Maker: Charles M. Robbins (3-part hallmark)
Length: 5-¾"
[original in SCIF archives]


Stem: CATALINA ISLAND
Bowl: plain
Top: AVALON; TUNA; ST. CATHERINE (1918); CATALINA ISLE
Reverse: plain
Maker: Charles M. Robbins (later Pennant R mark)
Note: This spoon is the same as the one above, but with a plain reverse and later Pennant R mark
Length: 5-¾"
[original in SCIF archives: Haffey Family Collection]


ROBBINS SPOONS WITH POINTED AND PIERCED HANDLE WITH AVALON BAY SCENE

Stem: CATALINA ISLAND
Bowl: plain
Top: Pierced handle: AVALON; 1 pier; steamship; Metropole; Sugar Loaf
Reverse: plain
Maker: Charles M. Robbins (3-part hallmark)
Length: 5-⅝"
[original in SCIF archives: Haffey Family CollectIon]
The pre-1909 harbor configuration with Hotel Metropole and Big Sugar Loaf clearly shown.
Notice only one main pier in the harbor before 1909.


Stem: CATALINA ISLAND
Bowl: pointed/fruit
Top: Pierced handle: AVALON; 1 pier; steamship; Metropole; Sugar Loaf
Reverse: plain
Maker: Charles M. Robbins (3-part hallmark)
Length: 5-½"
[original in SCIF archives: Kwiat Collection]
The pre-1909 harbor configuration with Hotel Metropole and Big Sugar Loaf clearly shown.


Stem: CATALINA ISLAND
Bowl: plain
Pierced handle: AVALON; 1 pier; steamship; Metropole; Casino
Reverse: plain
Maker: Charles M. Robbins (later Pennant R mark)
Length: 5-¾"
[original in SCIF archives: Haffey Family Collection]


Stem: CATALINA ISLAND
Bowl: scalloped
Pierced handle: AVALON; 1 pier; steamship; Metropole; Casino
Reverse: plain
Maker: Charles M. Robbins (later Pennant R mark)
Length: 5-⅜"
[original in SCIF archives: Kwiat Collection]


Stem: CATALINA ISLE
Bowl: plain
Top: pierced Oranges pattern
Reverse: plain
Maker: Charles M. Robbins (3-part hallmark)
Length: 5-⅜"
[original in SCIF archives: Putnam Collection #26]
Modern style cutout with three oranges with distinctive tilted block lettering.
Likely produced after about 1930 through the 1960s according to Harry Merrick.


Stem: CATALINA ISLE
Bowl: plain
Top: pierced OLD BEN; tuna
Reverse: plain
Maker: Charles M. Robbins (3-part hallmark)
Length: 5-¼"
[original in SCIF archives]


Stem: CATALINA ISLE
Bowl: plain
Top: bell; EUREKA; STATE CAPITOL
Reverse: bell; MISSION GARDEN; GOLDEN GATE; OIL WELLS
Maker: Charles M. Robbins (3-part hallmark)
Length: 5-¼"
[original in SCIF archives: Kwiat Collection]



Stem: CATALINA ISLE
Bowl: shell-shaped
Top: fish
Reverse: back of fish
Maker: Charles M. Robbins (3-part hallmark)
Length: 4-½"
[original in SCIF archives: Kwiat Collection]
Stem: CATALINA ISLE
Bowl: plain
Top: shell; OLD BEN, SUGAR LOAF, TUNA
Reverse: CASINO, GLASS BOTTOM BOAT, FLYING FISH
Maker: Charles M. Robbins (3-part hallmark)
Length: 4-¼"
[original in SCIF archives]
Stem: CATALINA ISLAND
Bowl: plain
Pierced handle: 1 pier; steamship; Metropole; Sugar Loaf
Reverse: plain
Maker: Charles M. Robbins (3-part hallmark)
Length: 4"
[original in SCIF archives: Haffey Family Collection]
Stem: CATALINA ISLAND
Bowl: plain
Pierced handle: 1 pier; Metropole; Sugar Loaf
Reverse: plain
Maker: Charles M. Robbins (3-part hallmark)
Length: 3-¼"
[original in SCIF archives]
Stem: CATALINA ISLE
Bowl: plain
Top: Pierced Oranges pattern
Reverse: plain
Maker: Charles M. Robbins (3-part hallmark)
Length: 3-¼"
[original in SCIF archives: Haffey Family Collection]