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]














Stem: CATALINA ISLAND
Bowl: plain
Top: Pierced handle: AVALON; 1 pier; steamship; Metropole; Sugar Loaf
Reverse: plain
Maker: Charles M. Robbins
Length: 5-⅝"
[original in SCIF archives: Haffey Family CollectIon]


Stem: CATALINA ISLE
Bowl: plain
Top: pierced Oranges pattern
Reverse: plain
Maker: Charles M. Robbins
Length: 5-⅜"
[original in SCIF archives: Putnam 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
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, which burned in 1915]
Maker: Charles M. Robbins
Length: 5-⅛"
[original in SCIF archives]


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: plain
Top: AVALON; TUNA; ST. CATHERINE; CATALINA ISLE
Reverse: plain
Maker: Charles M. Robbins (later Pennant R mark)
Length: 5-¾"
[original in SCIF archives: Haffey Family Collection]


Stem: CATALINA ISLAND
Bowl: plain
Top: AVALON; TUNA; ST. CATHERINE; CATALINA ISLE
Reverse: GLASS BOTTOM BOAT; SEA HORSE; FLYING FISH
Maker: Charles M. Robbins (later Pennant R mark)
Length: 5-¾"
[original in SCIF archives]
Note: This spoon is the same as the above, but with a decorated reverse


Stem: CATALINA ISLE
Bowl: plain
Top: shell; OLD BEN, SUGAR LOAF, TUNA
Reverse: CASINO, GLASS BOTTOM BOAT, FLYING FISH
Maker: Charles M. Robbins
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
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
Length: 3-¼"
[original in SCIF archives]
Stem: CATALINA ISLE
Bowl: plain
Top: Pierced Oranges pattern
Reverse: plain
Maker: Charles M. Robbins
Length: 3-¼"
[original in SCIF archives: Haffey Family Collection]