Early Hand-painted 

Enameled Shrine Spoon

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This is by far the most wonderful souvenir spoon this curator has ever seen. It was made by the Watson Company who started operations in 1894 and began making souvenir spoons shortly after they opened. They were in business from 1894 to 1905. So that would date this spoon to around the turn of the century. The handle of the spoon depicts different Shrine emblem cutouts, and reads "A.A.O.N.M.S." which stands for "Ancient Arabic Order Nobles Mystic Shrine." The bowl of the spoon is just spectacular. It is enameled and has a hand painted scene with much detail. There is a man wearing a Fez, standing with a man who appears to be ill.   He is wearing a robe and bandages in red, white and blue.    Both men are holding drinking cups. They are standing on ground with a river and a lake in the background. One side reads "NECTAR RIVER" the other side "ZEM-ZEM LAKE". I'm not sure what this symbolism represents.  I would guess that the "ailing" man would represent the USA because of the red, white and blue.   Maybe it stands for Shriners helping the "ailing" USA?   If anyone has any information on this, I would be glad to hear it.  The spoon measures 5 7/8 inches long and is fairly heavy for its size, it weighs 1 oz. It has a faint gold wash, which is mostly apparant on the back side. Marked on the back with the manufacturers mark and "STERLING".   This spoon recently sold on eBay for $380.+

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