Saturday, March 14, 2015

Sipper Spoons

Personal Effects 

Question: Dear Jerry, I've have these in my family for many years. I've never really been sure what they were used for. There are 6 of them and they are long with a tiny bowl and the stem is hollow. They are sterling but I can't read the mark. There were purchased here in Harrodsburg for a wedding gift for my husbands mother. I think that she was married in the early 1900's. The box says Wiseman Jewelers. Thanks for taking the time to look at this. I enjoy your articles.

A collection of sterling sipper spoons
Answer: These are great reminders from an era long since gone by, but it doesn't have to be gone. You can easily use these spoons today. You have a great set of lemonade sipper spoons. Now, some people will argue that these are soda spoons, and in a way, they would also be right. The handle of the spoon is the straw and are long and slender with an opening right on the back of the bowl. They were long so as to reach to the bottom of glass. Some people would put ice cream or sherbet in their lemonade. Using these spoons you could partake of bit of creamy ice cream or sip the beverage its floating in. Some hosts would add some seltzer water or ginger ale to the lemonade and that is where the soda part comes in. Regardless of what you call them, they are beautiful. Sipper spoons make me think of wide front porches, wicker rockers and the tinkle of ice in a tall, cool drink. They are marked sterling and the makers maker is Webster. Webster was a well-known silver manufacture that was founded by George K. Webster in 1869. His company lasted until the 1930's, when it was purchased by Frank W. Smith Company. Reed & Barton owns the Smith company today. Were never meant to match a service of flatware. But there are examples of sipper spoons that match flat ware sets. These are usually really popular patterns. Though these spoons are very plain they will blend in with any other silver that was being used. These are The date of your mother-in-laws nuptials is right on target for these spoons. Again, it was the work of the Victorians and Edwardian folks that encouraged such tools and equipment. Lemons are an ancient fruit, dating back thousands of years. They have been used in food and drinks for many centuries. It was during the reign of Queen Victoria that sweetened lemonade was considered stylish. Your spoons were only one part of the table. There could have been a fine hand painted lemonade set with pitcher, handled lemonade cups and maybe even cookie trays. The Roaring 1920's and the modern 1930's brought the sipper spoon to an end. I love the fact that you have a local jewelers box with them. That adds to their appeal, but not the value too much. I warn you, they can be a booger to clean. If you keep your eyes open, you can find long pipe cleaners, that you can run through the straw to clean them of sticky fruit, soda and silver polish. Your pretty set of sipper spoons with a local box would in a good antiques store be priced at about $75.00. Get them out and use them this summer. Thank you for sharing them.  

1 comment:

  1. What beauties. I think I've seen one somewhere, but never a full set in the original box. Now I have a great front with a wicker swing...mmm.
    I bought a set of very thin brushes to clean the spouts of tea pots, but I don't think any of them are small enough for the spoons.
    Tell you customer to check in a Holly Lobby, I think that's the name, craft store for those thin pipe cleaners.