OTTO ON A SPOON!  Who would’ve thought?

Ever the promoter, the pathfinder with an extraordinary eye for routes, railroad grades, and impossible tasks, OTTO MEARS gave out these sterling silver souvenir spoons at a Silverton, Colorado banquet purpotedly held in 1891 (Ref: History Colorado).

And who wouldn’t remember Otto on a spoon?


Just like his trains — rolling in.  What a character!  And what a master of promotion, engineering concepts, and generating influence.  Amazing what a bit of food, whiskey, and cigars can do.


Marked, “Sterling,” and having a similar design to his 1890 “Rainbow Route,” sterling silver and bue enamel “watch fob” pass.  These trinkets, hanging off watches and keys, used to eat and stir tea, were just the amusing promotional gimmicks that kept the Silverton Railroad in the strange convolutions of the brain.

Even the detail on the back compares with the exquisite railroad, mountains, and trees in the bowl.

What was Otto thinking?


Spoon length: 5-7/8 inches

Bowl dimensions: 2 inches by 1-1/4 inches

Railroad track scenes on both sides.

Front and back of Otto’s highly recognizable “mug.”

Marked, “Sterling,” on back of spoon.

Condition: very good plus to near fine; some occasional signs of use.



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