The Great Bon Bon Spoon Imperative

I bought an old spoon in a junk shop in Peterborough about 18 years ago. The woman at the store referred to it as a pickle spoon, and I tried to clean it up with silver polish, but it wouldn’t come clean so I put it in a drawer and forgot about it.

I was speaking to an online acquaintance, who does not have a lot of money, but buys nice things in thrift shops and then displays them in her home. She showed several photographs of lovely plates and one with beads and a silver fork displayed on it. I got all excited about this, and displaying nice things for cheer in the home.

When we first moved into this house 21 years ago, I had no money for art and so I started collecting old dinner plates to display on the wall. Some of them were only $3, but when you do up a montage on the wall they look so elegant and pretty.


Seeing this woman’s picture brought this back to me and I took out my spoon and photographed it. Then I searched online for some recipes for homemade silver cleaner and I found one that worked. My spoon, which I thought was damaged and thus wouldn’t come clean, came out beautifully. I could smell the awful old silver polish leeching out of it when I soaked it in hot water and baking soda with strips of aluminum foil in a bowl. On the back I could finally make out the stamp Community Plate and then I thought to do some research online and find out what this was and the pattern name.

Community Plate was the company that became Oneida, yet I couldn’t find my particular pattern name. It has stylized daffodils and looks vaguely Art Nouveau but nothing came up. I wrote to the people at and they wrote me back immediately the next day. Great service. My pattern is called “Rendezvous” and was introduced in 1938. The piece is called a BON BON/NUT SPOON.

How exciting to find such a thing out. I paid 50 cents for my spoon and it is worth about $20 now, although I wouldn’t sell it. I’ve been keeping it on my drafting board and taking pictures of it with some of my botanical cards. This one was taken before it was cleaned:


And this one was taken after:


It’s amazing what comes up in life when you aren’t expecting it. I have had such fun with this, and you can rotate the goodies and get a fresh display from month to month.

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