This 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 early 20th century silverware manufacturers in Australia. The collection is representative of their products and includes rare objects. It was put together to document, and preserve examples of, the golden era for the production of domestic silverware in Australia. Rare manufacturers' catalogues of the 1920s and 1930s that complete the collection, show the extensive range of products then available
Commemorative and souvenir spoons are particularly well represented. Souvenir spoons of Australian design, decorated with Australia's unique flora and fauna, were made in Australia since the 1890s. They were not manufactured in quantity until the 1930s when Perth, Western Australia, became an important centre. Among the most prominent Perth firms was Harris & Sons founded in 1922 by Charles Harris and his son Harold, initially as a wholesale supplier of rings to Levinsons. About 1952 Harold, inspired by a Swiss edelweiss souvenir spoon, began designing three-dimensional wildflowers for the cast handles of silver spoons. These spoons became popular as presentation pieces and some were made as gifts for the Queen (in 1954) and other members of the Royal family. The designs were inspired by boronia, sturt pea, hovea and many other local flowers. Harold Harris died in 1988. His son John continues to make them in Albany, Western Australia. The Museum's spoon with the kangaroo paw finial is an example of Harold's early designs.