CATALINA SOUVENIR SPOONS: SHEPARD

From Islapedia
Earlier maker's mark for Shepard
Rare early painted Shepard bowl over Type 1 embossing


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. Twenty-four different elements 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.

AVALON, SANTA CATALINA ISLAND
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]
AVALON, SANTA CATALINA ISLAND
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, CATALINA ISLAND, CAL. (bowl)
Shepard painted spoon bowl
Shepard Mfg. Co. "Violets", March Birthday Spoon (catalogue p. 32)
Top: enameled violets
Reverse: plain
5-⅝"
[original in SCIF archives; 2022.15.CK ex AK]
AVALON, CATALINA ISLAND, CAL. (bowl)
Shepard painted spoon bowl
Shepard Mfg. Co. "Violets", March Birthday Spoon (catalogue p. 32)
Top: enameled violets
Reverse: plain
5-⅝"
[original in SCIF archives; 2022.15.CK ex AK]
LOS ANGELES (stem); AVALON, SANTA CATALINA ISLAND (bowl)
Shepard embossed spoon bowl Type 1
Shepard Mfg. Co. (not in catalogue)
Top: grapes
Reverse: decorative edges; leaves
5-1/2"
[original in SCIF archives; 2021.79]


AVALON, SANTA CATALINA ISLAND.
Shepard embossed spoon bowl Type 1
Shepard Mfg. Co. (not in catalogue)
Top: grapes
Reverse: grapes
5-⅛ "
[original in SCIF archives: Kwiat Collection; 2021.23.AK]
AVALON, SANTA CATALINA ISLAND.
Shepard embossed spoon bowl Type 1
Shepard Mfg. Co. (not in catalogue)
Top: Sugar Loaf; tuna
5-¾" tea spoon
pre-1909
[original in SCIF archives: 2021.96]
This “Tuna” spoon is one of their two earliest Catalina designs. Only the obverse is decorated with Catalina themes, a tuna and Sugarloaf Rock. The reverse is undecorated save for some decorative flourishes and scrollwork along the edges of the spoon. The spoon is marked with Shepard’s earlier “S” mark, reportedly in use as late as about 1906. The Avalon scene in the Type 1 bowl design features buildings and elements present in Avalon only after mid 1902. Thus a design date of ca. late 1902 to ca. early 1906 seems likely for this spoon. A “1906” monogram date has also been observed on an example of this spoon. [Harry Merrick]
AVALON, SANTA CATALINA ISLAND.
Shepard embossed spoon bowl Type 1
Shepard Mfg. Co. No. 10, Cat. p. 16
Top: grizzly; CALIFORNIA; grapes; fruit
Reverse: plain
5-⅜" teaspoon
[original in SCIF archives: Haffey Family Collection; 2020.1.H1]
AVALON, SANTA CATALINA ISLAND.
Shepard embossed spoon bowl Type 1
Shepard Mfg. Co. No. 17, Cat. p. 16
Top: EUREKA; oranges; STATE CAPITOL; CALIFORNIA
Reverse: MISSION GARDEN; bell; CLIFF HOUSE; OIL WELL; grapes
5-½" teaspoon
[original in SCIF archives: Kwiat Collection; 2020.47.AK]
AVALON, SANTA CATALINA ISLAND.
Shepard embossed spoon bowl Type 1
Shepard Mfg. Co. No. 33 "Five o'clock Tea", Cat. p. 10
Top: art deco pattern
Reverse: art deco pattern
5-⅜"
[original in SCIF archives: Kwiat Collection; 2021.25.AK]
AVALON, SANTA CATALINA ISLAND.
Shepard embossed spoon bowl Type 1
Shepard Mfg. Co. No. 42 "Poppy", Cat. p. 10
5-¼" teaspoon
[original in SCIF archives: 2020.52]
AVALON, SANTA CATALINA ISLAND.
Shepard embossed spoon bowl Type 1
Shepard Mfg. Co. No. 104 , Cat. p. 14
Top: figural fish on a wave
Reverse: SUGAR LOAF; GLASS BOTTOM BOAT; SEAL ROCK; shell, seaweed, starfish
verso bowl engraved "Anna '08"
5-⅞" teaspoon,
[original in SCIF archives; 2021.18.AK]
This is a very early Shepard’s Catalina souvenir spoon. The figural fish design was a stock spoon design and appears in Shepard’s 1914 catalog (p.13), listed in a coffee spoon size, with undecorated back, as “#104 Coffee”. The reverse design featuring three very popular early Catalina attractions was specifically created for the Catalina tourist market. The design date for the reverse is certainly post July 1903 when the Cleopatra first began its service at Catalina, but the appearance of a prominent smoke stack on the Cleopatra suggests a 1904, or even a bit later, date for the design of the spoon’s reverse. [Harry Merrick]
AVALON, SANTA CATALINA ISLAND.
Shepard embossed spoon bowl Type 1
Shepard Mfg. Co. No. 104 , Cat. p. 14
Extremely rare painted over embossed bowl.
Top: figural fish on a wave
Reverse: SUGAR LOAF; GLASS BOTTOM BOAT; SEAL ROCK; shell, seaweed, starfish
5-⅞" teaspoon,
[original in SCIF archives: Kwiat Colleciton; 2022.11.AK]
AVALON, SANTA CATALINA ISLAND.
Shepard embossed spoon bowl Type 2
Shepard Mfg. Co. No. 104 , Cat. p. 14
Top: figural fish on a wave
Reverse: SUGAR LOAF; GLASS BOTTOM BOAT; SEAL ROCK; shell, seaweed, starfish
5-⅞" teaspoon,
[original in SCIF archives: Kwiat Collection; 2021.60.AK]


AVALON, SANTA CATALINA ISLAND.
Shepard embossed spoon bowl Type 1
Shepard Mfg. Co. "Old Ben"
CATALINA ISLAND (stem)
Top: OLD BEN; starfish and shells
Reverse: Old Ben; SUGAR LOAF; GLASS BOTTOM BOAT; FLYING FISH
5-⅝" teaspoon,
[original in SCIF archives: Kwiat Collection; 2021.46.AK]
This “Old Ben” Shepard Mfg. Co. “Catalina Island” is a themed spoon with an Avalon scene embossed bowl featuring a figural sea lion, identified as “Old Ben”, as the handle’s terminal. “Old Ben” was a celebrity sea lion who entertained Avalon’s visitors for over two decades (ca 1898 - ca.1924). Initially habituated to humans by fishermen who fed him an occasional fish, he became a regular summer season beggar on the Avalon waterfront. He appeared on postcards and even in a 1914 movie, “Sea Nymphs”. Among other things, his popularity and notoriety earned him a statue in Avalon (1975) as well as appearances on several different souvenir spoons manufactured by the Shepard Mfg. Co., the Watson Co. and C.M. Robbins. Old Ben’s image appears atop the handle, above a collection of starfish and seashells. The stem features “Catalina Island” and the bowl displays a Shepard “Type 1” embossed Avalon scene. The reverse shows Old Ben atop images of “Sugar Loaf”, a “Glass Bottom Boat” (likely the Empress), a “Flying Fish” and flowers, possibly poppies? The appearance of an “Empress-like” glass bottom boat suggests a design date post mid 1906. [Harry Merrick]


AVALON, SANTA CATALINA ISLAND.
Shepard embossed spoon bowl Type 2
Shepard Mfg. Co. "Old Ben"
CATALINA ISLAND (stem)
Top: OLD BEN; starfish and shells
Reverse: Old Ben; SUGAR LOAF; GLASS BOTTOM BOAT; FLYING FISH
5-⅝" teaspoon,
[original in SCIF archives: Kwiat Collection; 2021.47.AK]
At some point during the second decade of the 20th century Shepard began applying their later Type 2 embossed Avalon scene bowl to this design as well. After Shepard ceased operation (1923), the Watson Co., using the Shepard dies, continued to produce these spoons, but without the Avalon scene embossed bowl. [Harry Merrick]


"CALIFORNIA"
handle verso engraved 9-20-14
Maker: Shepard
Length: 6-⅛" [original in SCIF archives: 2022.5a & b]


CATALINA ISLAND
Watson fork and matching Shepard tea spoon
Top: Sugar Loaf; steamer; flying fish
Reverse: SEAL ROCKS; glass-bottom boat; tuna
Watson Fork 3-part hallmark
fork 5-⅞ inches
Shepard tea spoon AVALON, SANTA CATALINA ISLAND embossed bowl Type 2
5-½ inches
[original in SCIF archives: Kwiat Collection fork and tea spoon]
Historian Harry Merrick theorizes that when Shepard went out of business in 1923, Watson acquired some of their Catalina dies, or the rights to the designs, and continued producing those designs, but now marked with Watson marks.


SANTA CATALINA, CAL.
probable Shepard
Enameled handle with California Sea Lions; engraved bowl
3-⅞"
[original in SCIF archives; 2022.17]
SANTA CATALINA, CAL.
probable Shepard
Enameled handle with California Sea Lions; engraved bowl
3-⅞"
[original in SCIF archives; 2022.17]
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., not in catalogue
Top: SUGAR LOAF; TUNA
4-⅜" coffee spoon
pre-1909
[original in SCIF archives: Haffey Family Collection; 2020.16.H16]


AVALON, SANTA CATALINA ISLAND.
Shepard embossed demitasse spoon bowl Type 1
Shepard Mfg. Co. No. 10 Cal. Coffee, Cat. p. 16
Top: EUREKA; oranges; STATE CAPITOL; bear flag; CALIFORNIA
Reverse: MISSION GARDEN; bell; CLIFF HOUSE; OIL WELL; grapes
4-⅛"
pre-1909
[original in SCIF archives; 2022.32]


AVALON, SANTA CATALINA ISLAND.
Shepard embossed demitasse spoon bowl Type 2
Shepard Mfg. Co. No. 10 Cal. Coffee, Cat. p. 16
Top: EUREKA; oranges; STATE CAPITOL; bear flag; CALIFORNIA
Reverse: MISSION GARDEN; bell; CLIFF HOUSE; OIL WELL; grapes
4-⅛"
post-1909
[original in SCIF archives; 2021.2]


AVALON, SANTA CATALINA ISLAND.
Shepard embossed demitasse spoon bowl Type 1
Shepard Mfg. Co. No. 104 "Fish" pattern, Cat. p. 14
4" coffee spoon
[original in SCIF archives: Kwiat Collection]


AVALON, SANTA CATALINA ISLAND.
Shepard embossed demitasse spoon bowl Type 1
Shepard Mfg. Co. No. 120 "Poppy" pattern, Cat. p. 14
4-¼" coffee spoon
pre-1909
[original in SCIF archives: Haffey Family Collection; 2020.21.H21]


AVALON, SANTA CATALINA ISLAND.
Shepard embossed demitasse spoon bowl Type 2
Shepard Mfg. Co. No. 120 "Poppy" pattern, Cat. p. 14
4-¼ inch coffee spoon
post-1909
[original in SCIF archives; 2019.1]