no, these are not the sort of thing you put in your mouth, though they are shaped like it! i've always been curious about decorative items -- like porcelain thimbles -- serving no function except as decoration. i suppose if you were in a pinch you could use these spoons to stir your coffee.
the first souvenir spoons in the u.s. were made in 1890 by galt & bros. inc. of washington dc, featuring the profile of george washington. one year later, a souvenir Salem witch spoon was made, and sold seven thousand copies. it was created by daniel low, a jeweler in salem, massachusetts, after he saw souvenir spoons on vacation in germany. the witch spoon is given credit for starting the souvenir spoon hobby in the u.s.
i always see much more banal versions at truck stops, miniature things with a ceramic handle proclaiming a location:
check out this quality collection (i love that the container matches the 'contained', as it were):
my favourite of all spoons, though, is this one, made to commemorate the birth of the dionne quintuplets.
how great are those? they totally inspire me to write another post on the amazing world of "dionne quintuplet" merchandise.