CATALINA SOUVENIR SPOONS: SHEPARD

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Earlier maker's mark for Shepard

SHEPARD CATALINA TEASPOONS
Research courtesy of Harry Merrick

The Shepard Manufacturing Co. of Melrose MA (1893–1923) was a prolific producer of souvenir teaspoons for thirty years spanning the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Nineteen different patterns with Catalina elements, almost all including an embossed bowl scene of Avalon Bay, have been encountered thus far. Their spoons are an eclectic lot, most being either traditional “old style” souvenir spoons decorated on two sides, or floral/fruit themed pattern spoons, although they did produce one “modern style” spoon with a skyline cutout view of Avalon Bay on the handle, and an unusually formal style spoon with Greek Revival-like decoration. They also produced some spoons with enameled handles and, very likely, some with enameled bowls.

Later maker's mark for Shepard, in use by ca. 1913

Frequently Shepard spoons lack maker’s marks, but enough examples marked with their earlier “S” mark have been observed to determine that they produced two different embossed scenes of Avalon Bay on their teaspoon bowls. The presence of these distinctive embossed bowls makes it possible to confidently identify otherwise unmarked spoons as Shepard products. At some point in time, possibly 1913 but certainly by 1914, the firm occasionally began to use a second maker’s mark, consisting of an “SMCo” in a diamond. At least two patterns with Catalina elements were occasionally marked with that mark, including the modern cutout style “Catalina Island” spoon and a “California” themed spoon with a Shepard Type 2 embossed Avalon Bay scene.


Embossed bowl designs

Embossed bowl scenes of Avalon Bay were common elements on Catalina souvenir teaspoons, with at least 8 manufacturers producing them. Although several manufacturers updated their embossed bowl designs over time, Shepard was the only one to produce both a “one pier” (Type 1) and a “two pier” (Type 2) design, clearly marking the designs as pre-1909 and definitely post-1909, and for the latter, providing evidence for the earliest potential date of the spoon’s manufacture. To date, an example of a Type 1 bowl with a monogrammed date of 1906 provides the earliest “dated” evidence for the use of the Type 1 design.

Shepard matched their embossed teaspoon bowl designs with paired pre-1909 and post 1909 embossed bowl designs for their demitasse spoons.

Shepard spoon bowl Type 1
shows the earlier single main pier and includes the smaller western pier at the Bath House. The Hotel Metropole shows its distinctive post 1902 roofline. An early simple steamship in a relatively empty harbor is depicted. Only the very top of the Pavilion is shown in the left foreground.
Design likely ca. 1903-1905.
Appears on a spoon inscribed with a 1906 date.
[Harry Merrick]
Shepard spoon bowl Type 2
scene is extremely detailed. It shows a post-1909 view with 2 main piers and the Bath House. The steamer is relatively more modern and a paddlewheel glass bottom boat is included. Numerous small boats are shown lining the shore. The Hotel Metropole is still featured.
Design post-1909, pre 1915.
[Harry Merrick]






















SHEPARD CATALOGUE: SOUVENIR SPOONS AND ENAMEL GOLD AND SILVER JEWELRY 1914


ADDITIONAL SHEPARD SANTA CATALINA ISLAND SPOONS NOT IN SCIF ARCHIVES



AVALON, SANTA CATALINA ISLAND.
Shepard embossed spoon bowl Type 1
Shepard Mfg. Co.
Top: grizzly; CALIFORNIA; grapes; fruit
Reverse: plain
5-⅜" teaspoon
[original in SCIF archives: Haffey Family Collection]
AVALON, SANTA CATALINA ISLAND.
Shepard embossed spoon bowl Type 1
Shepard Mfg. Co. No. 17
Top: EUREKA; oranges; STATE CAPITOL; CALIFORNIA
Reverse: MISSION GARDEN; bell; CLIFF HOUSE; OIL WELL; grapes
5-½" teaspoon
[original in SCIF archives]
AVALON, SANTA CATALINA ISLAND.
Shepard embossed spoon bowl Type 1
Shepard Mfg. Co. No. 42 "Poppy" Pattern
5-¼" teaspoon
[original in SCIF archives]

Shepard demitasse spoon bowl Type 1
shows the earlier single main pier and includes the smaller western pier at the Bath House. The Hotel Metropole shows an early pre-1902 roofline prior to construction of the East Wing dormers. An early simple steamship in a relatively empty harbor is depicted. Only the very top of the Pavilion is shown in the left foreground.
Pre-1909; perhaps as early as pre-1903.
Note: The teaspoon size Type 1 design clearly shows the dormers on the eastern wing, suggesting that the demi design may have preceded the first teaspoon sized embossed bowl design. [Harry Merrick]
Shepard demitasse spoon bowl Type 2
scene is extremely detailed. It shows a post-1909 view with 2 main piers and the Bath House. The steamer is relatively more modern and a paddlewheel glass bottom boat is included. Numerous small boats are shown lining the shore. The Hotel Metropole is still featured.
Design post-1909, pre 1915.
[Harry Merrick]



AVALON, SANTA CATALINA ISLAND.
Shepard embossed demitasse spoon bowl Type 1
Shepard Mfg. Co.
Top: SUGAR LOAF; TUNA
4-⅜" inch coffee spoon
pre-1909
[original in SCIF archives: Haffey Family Collection]


AVALON, SANTA CATALINA ISLAND.
Shepard embossed demitasse spoon bowl Type 1
Shepard Mfg. Co. No. 120 "Poppy" pattern
4-¼ inch coffee spoon
pre-1909
[original in SCIF archives: Haffey Family Collection]


AVALON, SANTA CATALINA ISLAND.
Shepard embossed demitasse spoon bowl Type 2
Shepard Mfg. Co. No. 120 "Poppy" pattern
4-¼ inch coffee spoon
post-1909
[original in SCIF archives]