Souvenir sugar spoon from Tasmania
This souvenir spoon belongs to the collection of silver and EPNS (electroplated nickel silver) tableware, trophies, napkin rings and spoons made and/or used in Australia between the 1890s and 1950s. Presented to the Museum in 2002, the collection was assembled in the 1980s by Dr G W Kenneth Cavill, an Emeritus Professor of the University of New South Wales. In his retirement, Professor Cavill has researched and published the histories of notable Australian silverware manufacturers of the first part of the 20th century. The collection is representative of their products.
Giftware, such as spoons and napkin rings, is particularly well represented. Spoons of Australian design, decorated with Australia's unique flora and fauna, were made from at least the 1890s. Some of the earliest were made in Tasmania, a popular tourist destination for mainland Australians at the turn of the century. Steamships sailed regularly from Sydney and Melbourne to Hobart and ports of the northern coast of the island. P. C. Abbott of Hobart registered designs for souvenir spoons with kangaroo, emu, Tasmanian tiger and possum finials in 1894. These were soon followed by spoons that were distinctively Tasmanian. Made in the 1950s by Lega Pty Ltd , a Melbourne firm of jewellers founded in 1948, this spoon is an interesting, later example of the traditional map-of-Tasmania design produced outside Tasmania to supplement local production. Lega's spoons with cast finials and stems are joined to die-struck bowls. (See: K. Cavill, 'Commemorative and souvenir spoons of Australian interest, 1894-1994', Australiana, 1994 (4), pp 95-106.)