Monday, June 14, 2010

Souvenir Spoon of Helen M. Reif

This morning I decided to begin cleaning and putting away some of the "treasures" I found while cleaning out my mother-in-laws condo. This eventually lead me to take a few photos of the various items and while trying to find some room in my cupboards, I happened upon this spoon.

It belongs to me. I purchased it from an ebay seller back in 2001. Actually, I was in the ebay market for anything Tiffin, Ohio and when I saw this souvenir spoon, I decided to get it as a Christmas gift for my mother-in-law who has lived here entire life (save currently) in Tiffin.

She never got the gift. I decided to keep it along with several other's that I found out on ebay. My reason: I went to college in Tiffin, married a fellow from Tiffin and lived there for several years following my wedding day. The spoon collection remained in my kitchen, forgotten....until today.

Close up of the bowl of the spoon which is beautifully engraved with the word "Tiffin".

Back of the spoon with the makers mark, Helen Reif's initials engraved in the back of the handle and the underside of the bowl of the spoon--which IS a golden color.

Robert Wallace and Sons
Sterling Silver

Back when I purchased the spoon, I wrote the sellers to see if they had any knowledge of the name of "H. R."--the initials on the back of the spoon. I was thrilled to find that they did know who the spoon originally belonged to.

After reading their e-mail, I filed it away with the spoon. Today, I decided to do a little detective work to see if I could find out any information on Helen and to find out how close the spoon selleres story was to the actual life of Helen Reif. I hopped on ancestry and was able to find a relation who had information on the entire Reif family. The seller's information was partially correct.

Helen M. Reif
Born: August 7, 1894 in California
Died: August 13, 1975 in California

Parents: John F. Reif and Caroline Ella Grammes
Sibling: Frederick William Reif


Kovel, Ralph and Terry. Kovels' American Silver Marks: 1650 to the Present, Crown Publishers, New York, New York, 1989, page 368.

Lohse-Marzi Families from Ohio,,
Helen M. Reif

© 2010, copyright Linda Hughes Hiser

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